Monday, October 29, 2012

My iPhone Addiction: Will My Kids Resent it One Day?

The other day the kids were playing happily for once and Hubby had just gotten home from work.  I was also still getting emails about work and we were both scrolling through our phones while the kids played in the other room.  My daughter came running in to show me the clothes that she had successfully put on her doll and I barely looked up and murmured, "Very cool, honey." 
 
"Mom, you didn't even look at it!" she replied.
 
I suddenly saw ourselves from the outside.  Don't you think it's so annoying when you go to lunch with someone and they are only half-listening to you and scrolling through their phone at the same time?  I make it a point to never do that to any adults, so why did I think it was okay to do to my kids?
 
I remembered that old song, Cats in the Cradle by Cat Stevens.  Do you remember it?  It's basically about a kid who keeps begging his Dad to play ball with him.  The Dad keeps responding that he just doesn't have the time.  Then one day the Son grows up and the roles are reversed.  The Dad keeps begging the kid to come over and visit and kid suddenly doesn't have the time and I suddenly felt a pit in the bottom of my stomach.  Did I want my kids to remember me only half-listening to them? Of course not!  
 
I suddenly had visions of them growing up, and being teen-agers and young adults with new jobs, scrolling through their phones while I tried to find out what was going on in their young lives.  I pictured myself asking them questions and trying to lure them into a meaningful conversation, while they only half-listened and repaid me for all the years that I'd done it to them.  Well no more!  I vow no more half-listening and half-parenting.  I'm going to print out the words to Cats in the Cradle and read them every morning, to remind myself how hurtful it is when someone just doesn't have time for you, especially when that person is your own Mom.
 
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4 comments:

  1. Truly, pay more attention to them and communicate more.

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  2. We all have caught ourselves doing that at one time or another. Anyone who tells you they have never are full of crap. I have made a rule that when we have people over everyone needs to dump their phones in a basket and we sit down and have dinner and a conversation. I try not to have the phone around my little one but I am telling you it is hard sometimes. Both hubby and I need to make more of an effort.

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  3. We also have caught ourselves doing this! I make a point that I am not on any social media during home time...evenings and weekends unless it is when Lil Mister sleeps. I feel more relaxed this way too!

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  4. Found this post via Pinterest and I wholeheartedly agree. I may print out the lyrics myself. About a month and a half ago I deactivated my Facebook account because I realized I was "checking out" of real life a little to frequently. And even though I've made HUGE strides in the right direction since then, I still have moments of putting off paying attention to both my kids and my husband. Surely, once in a while it is necessary to finish whatever task is at hand, an email or whatever. But yes...it is also good to be present in the real world. Great post!

    ReplyDelete