The "State of the Kid" survey asked children ages 6 to 12 if their parents are ever distracted or focused on other things when they are trying to talk to them and 62% said yes; the number one form of distraction cited - the cellphone. When I heard this I immediately put down my cellphone! All I thought was, would my kids answer yes too? I would hope not, but part of me was afraid they might say yes. Highlights then went on to ask the children what would happen if their parents lost their cellphones for a day. Answers included that they'd "go crazy" or that they'd "be mad". While part of me laughed when I heard these answers, the other part of me was sad.
I then decided that I needed to make sure that I didn't become one of these statistics, so here is what I'm doing starting today:
- Setting Phone Hours - I don't need to pick up or look at my phone every time it makes a beep. Instead I'm setting certain hours where I'm keeping my phone down and ignoring it. The easy times to separate myself from my phone are during meal times and bedtime. Now I'm going to add an hour during the morning hours and an hour during the evening hours to at least start with.
- Not Checking Phone while in the Car - I know it is against the law but I do find myself scanning my phone while in the car. I know this isn't safe too and I need to stop. Plus, the car is the perfect time and opportunity to have discussions with my family.
- Embrace Family Fun - I don't need to take a photo or tweet when my family and I are out enjoying ourselves. I sometimes need to do a better job of living in the moment and one way of doing that is by keeping the phone down while having family fun.
So, do you find yourself distracted by your phone? Would your kids say you get distracted by your phone? What tips would you add? Remember to Comment for a Cause!
And so you know, the other sources of distraction cited by the Highlights survey were bothersome siblings, work, TV, talking to other people, computers, cooking, housework and driving.