How to be Present with Kids
and Have Phone Less Outings…
Struggling with enjoying the little moments with your children? Simple tips for being present with your children each and every day!
- Keep your smart phone out of reach by keeping it in your bag and out of your hand (or pocket) at all times.
- Only check your phone for urgent text messages or phone calls in between activities.
- Instead of pulling out your smart phone during times of waiting, play games with your children like I spy or ask them simple questions like what their favorite part of the day has been so far and so on…
- Consider purchasing a light phone for out of the house trips and events, leaving the smart phone at home!
I try not to be judgmental when it comes to other people and their parenting skills… but in all honestly, when it comes to smart phones… I pretty much am.
This is a hard one for me to even type into words, you guys! I absolutely loathe situations where I see parents choosing technology over their children. While yes, I have been the mom that has pulled out her phone to check a text message or take a phone call while out with her kids. I am however, not that mom that scrolls on social media endlessly while her children beg for attention.
Never, ever will I be that mom.
No social media post or video will ever be more important than my children. I don’t even have social media apps on my smart phone and I likely never will. Those things are checked on my computer or tablet when I’m home and relaxing in the evenings, or utilized on my working days… as they should be!
Ditch the Smartphone
FOR REAL THOUGH…
My kids and I visit our local zoo at least twice a month and the things I have witnessed just in this small piece of the world completely breaks my heart.
I’ve seen everything from toddlers watching iPhones while their moms push them around the zoo in strollers to children begging their father to look up from his constant phone scrolling to enjoy the current attraction they are at together.
Over and over I see it.
Parents riding rides with their kids, completely unattached and watching videos on Facebook.
Moms waiting for animal shows to start, scrolling through endless pictures and posts on social media.
It’s Real, You Guys…
While every moment I see a child being unattended, left out, or chosen second over a parents smart phone is difficult… I will never forget the day I saw the true addiction side of it all.
We were walking through the zoo with friends and stopped off to play at the playground for a few minutes. Shortly into our arrival we noticed a new walker, around a year old, stumbling around completely unsupervised.
This child walked in front of older children zip lining and almost stumbled completely out of the playground area! There were a group of moms watching this young child, making sure she stayed in the area all while asking “Where is her mom??”
Next thing we know a young lady whose nose had been stuck in her phone this entire time, finally notices us corralling her child. She quickly says thank you, picks up the little girl, walks her to the other side of park and puts her back down. Mom goes right back to her phone.
At this point everyone is watching the baby and the mom, upset and concerned for the child’s safety. Then it happens. BOOM! Another young girl runs up to this woman and says “Mommy, mommy, come push me on the swing!”. Mom follows, leaving baby behind, to push the older child. Never looking up from her phone, not even once!
This behavior continues on for nearly 10 more minutes. Mom can’t put the phone down, baby is being watched by complete strangers and… are you ready for it?
My teenage son walks over to tell me about a little boy that has been going around pulling up all the plants and knocking down signs at the playground. He said no parent was around watching him and he was getting extremely concerned. What happened next didn’t even shock me at this point, you guys. This kid was also hers.
A short while later we all came to this conclusion when he asked to be strapped into a special swing. Mom complied, phone in hand. She pushed the child once, then walked off to sit down and stare at her phone again. The child began crying and whining while trying to loosen his straps, but mom was completely tuned out and never returned for the child.
My heart completely sank that day.
This mom was so addicted to her cell phone that she couldn’t even spend 15 minutes at the park with her babies. Over the course of that time, her children were in harms way, being completely destructive, and begging for her attention.
The worst part?
She wasn’t even aware of any of it! She was so attached to her cell phone that she was completely disconnected from her own flesh and blood.
*Note: If you read this story and you fear that I just sat by and watched idly. Please know that isn’t the case… I did help her young son out of the swing when he became distressed and my mom corralled the baby to make sure she didn’t get hurt… but honestly, what else can we do? We helped in the moment… but we won’t be with this family on their next outing and this truly makes my heart hurt!
To the Mom Stuck in this Very Place…
Please seek help!
Our children, the future generation – they deserve better. Put the phone away and live in the now. They are only little for so long.
If you fear technology addiction might be happening in your home, seek help before it’s too late! Resources below!
A Place of Hope – counseling and help for those struggling with technology addiction.
Common Sense – technology addiction resources
This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I highly encourage you to check out my other related posts on this topic.
If you like this article, please take some time to share it on social media for others that may be dealing with this struggle!