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.
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?
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?