You, your smartphone and your kids

Parenting can be a bit monotonous and boring sometimes. Fortunately, someone has invited smartphones and we have work, contact with our friends, entertainment and some break from other occupations in one hand. You play with your kid and check Facebook or read something on the internet? Many of us do this, but have you ever thought that such a habit can have a bad impact on parents’ relationship with children? In fact, the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics has published a study which says that using a smartphone around your kids can increase tension in the house.

Surprisingly, this “window” to the world outside – which is your smartphone, makes you absent as a parent, since mentally you are in more than one place: at work, with friends and in Africa with people suffering from hunger. The study mentioned above has checked how multitasking smartphone use affects caregivers and their family routines. 35 caregivers have been interviewed and what turned out?

Many of them admitted that it has an influence on their family lives and, what is more, they noticed that reading bad news or some work related emails had a bad influence on their mood which resulted in negative responses to their children. Often, when children were disturbing caregivers focused on their phones, they were snapped or yelled at. For the caregivers using smartphones meant some kind of an escape from the stresses and monotony of parenting.

These days, it is difficult to be only here and now. Many parents work from homes and using technology around kids is just inevitable. New technologies have made our lives much easier in many aspects, but simultaneously, it has become much harder to achieve the healthy balance between work and family.

What is significant here, we need to understand that our children benefit from some independence. We do not have to devote our whole day for them to make them happy. In fact, unhappy parent means usually unhappy children. If you need to find yourself present and active in more than one area of your life, you have to make a plan.

Remember that too much disruptions can make you feel overwhelmed and too many tasks at a time cannot be done well. There must be some time during the day when your kids are occupied, maybe it would be a good idea to limit your “other matters” to this time so that you could focus on certain things separately.

Children do feel that their parents are absent, even when they are just next to them. Quality is often more important than quantity when it comes to parenting. Your stress pouring out on a child cannot bring any good. We all need balance in our lives and chaos often ends up with exhaustion and frustration. Why don’t we turn off our smartphone for a while and just be here and now? Later we can check what happened outside “without us”.