At times, it’s just an unexpected text from a friend in New York or an unproductive Facebook “Like” on your latest holiday picture. However, the only dilemma is each time the phone beeps, out of force of habit, we run to grab it immediately. Feeling guilty already?
Well, a tinge of guilt is necessary before pointing fingers at kids and obsessing with parental controls. Those poor souls are simply a reflection of parents, learning all good and bad habits from them. If the older folks at home are busy scrolling their Facebook feed, imagine the impact it has on the young ones.
Are Kids Worried About Parent’s Smartphone Habits?
According to Common Sense Media, 44 % of teens believe their parents are distracted by phones at least once a day.
This may come as a shock, but the vast majority of teens across the globe are concerned about their parent’s incorrigible phone addiction. Children often find their parents using mobile phones while cooking and also while driving. No wonder, smartphones are making their way up in the list of “Top causes for accidents.”
These reports also show that tables have turned and it is high time parents change their incurable habit to ensure kids don’t fall prey to addictive smartphone apps.
More Arguments on Why Parents Should Maintain a Safe Distance From Smartphones
Parents can defend themselves by stating the endless multiple tasks on the phone such as emails, shopping, bill payment, banking, and many such tasks.
However, what they fail to highlight is the irresistible addiction to social media, games, and multimedia apps. Isn’t that true?
Now, that we have spoken about the elephant in the room, let’s take a glance at the reasons why parents need to keep away from gadgets:
Believe it or not, adults are more distracted because of gadgets than children are. Wondering how? Kids typically use cellphones for entertainment, but parents have their whole office working inside the small machine.
Right from emails to powerpoint presentations, all that one needs in their workplace is accessible anywhere.
Consequently, this increases the risk of a distraction even more. And at times the intensity of distraction knows no bounds- children feel neglected every now and then.
- Not a stress reliever, a stress creator
Can you imagine a stressful parent upbringing a child? No, right? Well, as long as parents are glued to the emails, social media posts, news, and whatever else unwanted information cell phones provide, parents are going to stay stressed.
To raise happy and positive kids, parents need to stay positive. And to achieve such a state of mind, it is essential to stay stress relieved.
Millennials are burdened with FOMO (Fear of missing out). Social media makes life miserable more than connecting us to our friends.
Every Instagram post causes more sadness and regret than help us kill time. Well, considering the advancements, often parents forget that all social media posts are filtered and edited.
You don’t even know the behind the scenes story, and still, you wish to feel bad seeing your school friend on a solo trip in Paris. What if her husband refused to join her? Was that mentioned in the Instagram caption? No, right?
- Health problems
Not only children, but even parents also face similar health issues like headaches, dry eyes, postural problems, and much more. It is not completely confirmed that gadget addiction has life-threatening complications, but they are definitely counted in top factors for poor lifestyle.
- Hurts relationships
Out of the many drawbacks of phone addiction, relationships are injured worst. Occupied in messages and photos on Instagram, a person’s attention is diverted from the real moments.
One tends to start withdrawing oneself from physical relationships and get involved in online relations. Don’t forget, your relationship with kids also gets compromised in the process.
How Can Parents Control Phone Cravings?
Although we impose parental control on children, it is hard to enforce such restrictions on parents. As mature individuals, adults can bring some change in their everyday habits to make a significant difference in their kid’s life.
- Common family rules for phone usage
Rules don’t bias based on the age difference. Every individual, whether old or young, must follow a set of rules. The rules may vary for kids and parents, but both need to follow specific rules about the usage of gadgets at home. Certain small changes which can be started right away are:
– No phones on a dining area
– No phones for at least one hour after office
– Switch on social media after children hit the bed
- Sort out actual needs from leisure
We understand phones are our helping hand. And there are a number of things like online banking that makes our life more comfortable. So, it is hard to go cold turkey on cell phones.
However, parents must be able to bifurcate actual needs from unnecessary activities like texting, watching videos, checking Facebook posts, and the list goes on.
The more efficiently one utilizes phone usage, the better is one able to manage his or her daily tasks.
- Dedicate at least 30 mins of non-device attention
Kids need parents undistracted attention. Whether you like it or not, but children with parents who get involved in their kid’s life do well in comparison to other parents.
In most households, parents are unable to spare even 10 mins for kids and asking for 30 minutes in the middle of such an important day can have disastrous results. Well, all this is silly talk.
As a parent, if you are not able to spare 30 minutes of your day to kids, then the idea of parenting is still vague in your mind.
Children who speak to their parents and open up about their day to day activities turn out to have the best relationships with their parents.
- Shut notifications after office
Well, this is easy and hard at the same time. If you have the incurable disease of checking smartphone notification, then this new habit may be hard to begin, but it will give you unexpected peace of mind. Go to your settings option and get rid of those notifications after you reach home. Always remember, your personal time is as valuable as your professional!
- Avoid gadgets on the dinner table
One important rule that everyone in the family can follow is to avoid phones and gadgets during meals. The dining area is meant for family time and should be limited to that.
Allowing phones on the table can create distances that you do not want to know. Secondly, distracted eating is not suitable for heath, and doctors give a strict NO on media indulgence during meals.
- Apps to control screen time
Presently, most apps and parents are worried about reducing screen time of kids. But, did you know, certain innovative apps can help adults in keeping a check on their phone usage? These apps not only offer the count of how many times you check your phone, but some of them also come with exciting control mechanisms like reminders.
- Go for a Digital Detox family vacation
No family is complete without spending quality vacation time in the arms of the mountains, lush green countryside and crashing waves of the sea. Every family must spare some time for holidays and explore the world with kith and kin.
However, one change which you can bring in your next family vacation is to get rid of those phones and gadgets. Live the moment and enjoy mindfulness.
Well, it is pretty clear that parental controls and child safety apps are doing their bit for kids; it is high time parents get their smartphone habits straight and set good examples for the new generation.