Are Smart Phones a Dumb Idea for Families?
Top 7 signs that phones are ruining you family time
Smart phones have invaded our lives. While phones can be entertaining, informative and necessary in some situations, they are negatively affecting quality time for millions of families across the U.S. Maintaining a healthy relationship with kids of all ages is certainly a goal for most parents. When you limit cell phone use in the sanctuary of your own home, you just might find yourself growing stronger bonds with your kids – and teaching them lessons that they can take with them once they leave the nest.
Check out the Top 7 signs that phones are ruining your family time. If any of them sound familiar to you, it’s time for you to take action.
1. Your living room looks like a waiting room. There’s nothing quite as unsettling to a parent as walking into a room filled with children staring blankly at their phones. They aren’t talking. They aren’t making eye contact. They are just sitting there like zombies. It’s kind of funny the first time you see it. By the tenth time it gives you a sinking feeling in your stomach and it makes you completely question your parenting skills. It literally looks like a waiting room. Sadly, the only thing they are waiting for is the next call, text or Netflix series to show up in their hot little hands.
2. Selective hearing. Your kid can’t quite hear you when you ask about her day, when you ask her to clean her room, or when you’re trying to figure out if she has volleyball practice after school the next day. However, it’s amazing how one whisper of a vibration indicating a text message will send her across three rooms like Usain Bolt.
3. The dinner “rush.” You’ve spent a few hours creating the perfect dinner. You are certain that “this is the night that they will all finally sit around the table and share intimate details about their day.” Once again, you are disappointed to find your kids rushing to woof down their meal in minutes just to get back to some random YouTube video. Or even worse, they bring their beloved phone to the table and you spend ten minutes in silence as they remain glued to an endless chat (that really has no substance other than a string of incoherent emojis and cat videos). Somehow the nutritional calories you lovingly prepared are being canceled out with the “empty calories” they are digesting on their phones.
4. “Wait, let me finish this video first.” We’ve all heard it. It doesn’t matter if you’re running late for soccer practice, getting ready for church, or trying to get your precious kiddo to start studying for a major Algebra test. For whatever reason, it’s absolutely critical that they see the end of the “cupcake challenge” video or the latest unboxing for “fill in the blank.”
5. The charger fight. In the old days, kids might fight about things that really mattered. You know, like who’s the greatest football player ever, which superhero is the strongest, or which kid could hold their breath the longest in the deep end of the pool. All of these fights were good, because it meant that people were actually talking to each other. Engaging with another human. Living life. If your kids are fighting over who gets to use the phone charger and “comparing the percentages on their phones to see who deserves it more,” you should have cause for concern.
6. The night shift. You’ve been noticing that your kids are more and more grumpy each morning. Breakfast fights, slipping grades and questionable hygiene are just a few telltale signs that your flock might be burning the midnight oil on their phones. Let’s just say there’s nothing wrong with an unscheduled bed check an hour after “lights out.”
7. You don’t need to "keep up with" that famous TV family that starts with a K. Or the Joneses. Just because “everyone” your kid knows (in real life or on TV) is allowed to use their phone with no restrictions – it doesn’t mean you have to accept that lifestyle. No matter what they tell you, you are in charge. You pay the bills. You’re the adult. You are the one that is ultimately responsible for their development and well-being. You have the power to take control. Use it.
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