I’m guilty. My husband is guilty. I think we are all guilty to some degree.
As I was reviewing an infographic this morning on the Digital World of Teens (http://visual.ly/digital-world-teens), I came across a statistic that really hit me in the heart. 21% of all teens say they wish their parents spent less time with their cell phones and other devices. While I don’t have a teen at home, I am pretty sure that even 3 year olds feel this way. I can remember multiple times when Lucas has said put your phone away mommy, or even times when he takes my phone and chunks it on the ground – which at the time I chalked up to a rebellious toddler, but after reading this statistic, I think he too is just sick of mommy and daddy always being “plugged in.”
If I remember back to my childhood, when I was at the dinner table with my parents or even sitting down to watch a program on TV, I wasn’t competing with an iPhone, iPad, lap top, etc. No, I had their undivided attention. It was our time to talk about our day, re-cap the basketball game from the night before, discuss an upcoming school assignment, or catch them up on the latest with my friends. Today’s teens (and toddlers for that matter) don’t always have that undivided attention from their parents because they are competing against technology. “Well, I just need to check my email really quick.” Or, “this call will only take a minute.” Or, “let me text him back, it’s important.” What’s more important than time with our children? Time that we will never get back? I can write this blog without being hypocritical because I have owned up to the fact that I am guilty. But, from this day forward, I want to pledge to do better. I need to set an example for my son when it comes to technology, and to date, I don’t think my husband and I have been the best examples in this area. As a working mom, I have to realize that my time with my son needs to be spent fully with my son. That email can wait. That text can wait. My son’s childhood will not wait. As I have already seen, the days, months and years go by way too fast.
Will you take a pledge with me? A pledge to put our children before technology. Certainly, there are going to be times where we do need to do a little work from home or return a text to a friend because it truly cannot wait, but let’s pledge to make those times the exception and not the rule.