I’ve said before that I don’t make new year resolutions. I make new year goals. But, I am breaking my own rule.
For 2015, I am making the resolution to STOP parenting distracted.
Let me explain.
For our wedding anniversary, my husband and I decided that above all we wanted to focus on family time. Our gift to each other and to our children was to put away all technology for 24 hours. (Even the kids agreed to join us.)
We learned two very important lessons that day:
- We have been parenting distracted.
- It’s almost impossible to find a new location when you can’t look up directions on your phone!
Without the distraction of the phone, computer or TV, we were focused on our children. We were appreciating, interacting and responding more. We weren’t answering emails, checking the score of a game, updating Facebook or running around trying to snap the perfect photo to share on Instagram. We were living in the moment and it felt great.
We also noticed that the kids were happier. They didn’t have as many arguments. They were engaging with each other and us.
We’re not the only parents who have fallen into the parenting distracted rabbit hole. During a recent trip to the playground, I counted seven of the 12 parents who were there busy on their cell phones.
An October 2014 survey by Highlights.com found that 62% of children felt their parents were distracted or focused on other things when they were trying to talk to them. The children listed cell phones as the number one distraction.
Are we raising a generation of children who only know what their parent’s face look like by the glow from the screen in front of them?
I hope not.
So, for 2015, I am vowing to try my hardest to not parent distracted. I will disconnect on weekends. Put my cell phone away during dinner. Not be tempted to answer that one email during bed time. And, instead I am planning family activities, enjoying nature and traveling more. And, those are my new year resolutions. What are yours?