Being Fully Present With Your Children

November 16, 2019

Quote of the Week

"When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?" --Thich Nhat Hanh

12 Ways To Ensure Your Kid Is More Important Than Your Phone

"According to a recent Gallup poll, about half of U.S. smartphone owners check their devices several times an hour or more frequently. The attention we devote to our phones has a measurable impact on our health, wellbeing, and social and family relationships.  Psychology professor Larry Rosen has shown that if there’s a phone around—even if it’s someone else’s phone—its presence tends to make people anxious and perform more poorly on tasks.

The intense attention we devote to our smartphones has a major, measurable impact on our health, wellbeing, and social and family relationships. But in a family situation, the greatest problem might be “technoference” with our relationships with our spouse and kids.

The good news is that this is a fixable problem. For most people, it’s simply a matter of admitting to the issue, and making a simple plan with the rest of the family. David Hill of the American Academy of Pediatrics said that positive parenting practices around technology include role-modeling. Demonstrate your own mindfulness in front of your children by putting down your phone during meals or whenever they need your attention.”

This week's featured article from Motherly provides some ideas to help you create healthy phone boundaries. Boundaries that your kid might inherit and follow outside of your home, and may even pass down to their own kids someday.

Reading Corner

Title: The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age
By: Catherine Steiner-Adair
Ages: Adult

"Clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair takes an in-depth look at how the Internet and the digital revolution are profoundly changing childhood and family dynamics, and offers solutions parents can use to successfully shepherd their children through the technological wilderness...[ ]

As Steiner-Adair explains, families are in crisis as they face this issue, and even more so than they realize. Not only do chronic tech distractions have deep and lasting effects but children also desperately need parents to provide what tech cannot: close, significant interactions with the adults in their lives. Drawing on real-life stories from her clinical work with children and parents and her consulting work with educators and experts across the country, Steiner-Adair offers insights and advice that can help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their living rooms." --Publishers

Be the Change

Teens are more likely to follow rules that they come up with themselves.  This week have your teen come up with just one phone rule that they (and you!) will follow for the week in order to be more fully present with those around them. After putting it into practice, discuss how it went.