Digitally Distracted Parents

This is a subject that sadly, far too many parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins etc can relate to.

In this blog post, I’m going to focus on parents. When you think back to your childhood, what do you remember? Specifically, what do you remember about the time you spent with your parents?

Were they present? Were they engaged in conversation or play?

For many people, I hope, the answer to those two questions will be yes.

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Looking at my own childhood, I fondly remember playing games with my parents. Perhaps a board game or hide and seek for example.

When I needed to ask my parents a question, or if I needed help with homework, my parents would always help.

Now this is where the change from then and now begins. Although parents nowadays still do these things, there’s a huge difference, in my opinion, as to how these activities are approached.

Has your child ever come up to you whilst you’ve been on your phone and you’ve not even heard what they’ve said, or worse, perhaps you’ve not even noticed them standing in front of you until they start to pull at your trouser leg?

When you do finally notice them, and they ask you a question or for help with something, what do you usually reply with?

In a minute?

Can’t you do it yourself?

I’m busy?

Or do you put your phone away straight away and take notice of your child?

I for one am guilty of being too engrossed in my phone to notice my children talking to me at times, and yes, I’m ashamed to admit it, but I know that I’m not alone in this.

More and more parents in todays’ world are digitally distracted. We may well be more present than ever before in our children’s lives with the increase in flexible working hours, but we’re less engaged than ever before.

We, myself included, need to prioritise what’s important. Our children are only young once, and before we know it when they’ve moved out and you invite them round for a dinner or perhaps when you go to visit them, how will you feel when the tables have turned and it’s your children who are more interested in their phones than speaking to you?

14 thoughts on “Digitally Distracted Parents

  1. OMG Nige I’m dreadful at this! Particularly if we’ve been doing paid collabs that require engagement. I do put my phone down and laptop away for at least a couple of hours each evening though and we do tonnes of fun stuff together at weekends! It does worry me though, I’m glad it’s not just me.

  2. Oh this subject always divides opinion. I for one see horrendous examples of distracted parents all the time. yet many parents seem to think it;s their right to use digital devices 24/7 and to suggest they should spend more time attending to their kids is an infringement of their human rights. We can all be distracted by devices, but spekaing for myself, I actively go out of my way to lock my phone away and spend time with the kids. Thaks for hosting #thatfridaylinky

  3. I think that the children are often as distracted by technology as the parents and we should lead by example. I am always telling my children to turn off their devices and none are allowed at meal times either to give us a chance to talk #thatfridaylinky

  4. I have great childhood memories of my parents being active in my life – playing games and stuff. I don’t have children, but I’d like to think if I did, I would do all of this with them. It can be all too easy to get sucked into social media etc. though
    P.S Thanks for hosting #thatfridaylinky

  5. Good topic! This is one of my complaints about “young mums.” When they are pushing a stroller with their child in it, their ear buds are in and they are listening to something other than their child’s voice and the nature sounds that can lead to such good conversations and teaching time with small children.
    Rant ended.
    Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

  6. I’m old school, my kids come first, the phone/laptop can wait. I hate to see Mum’s glued to their phones when their kids come out of school. I’m just waiting to see my little ones and I want them to come out and get a cuddle and tell me about their day, not see me glued to a phone. (I don’t do the school run anymore but i remember it well, and now even though I have to wait at home for them, they get my full attention when they get in.)
    It’s a sad fact though that the digital age is taking over and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it. I heard that Facebook and Instagram were down the other day, I wonder if it made people talk to each other more?

  7. For the most part I don’t use my phone that often in front of the children and when I have they have sat on my phone so I can’t or pushed it out of my hand. I always engage in conversations with them and they climb on me to read and play. We also have a no phones / gadgets at the dinner table rule. #ThatFridayLinky

  8. Very important to point out how parents can be stuck to their phones a lot too nowadays: hard to preach about phone usage and all that when we are giving poor example. Which is why we have been working to limit our kids usage, but going off our own devices too. #ThatFridayLinky

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