Posted August 20, 2016
I recently started back to work as a character development teacher after having spent seven months at home with my daughter, June. I have been shocked at myself because I thought I would soak in every precious, golden second I could with her after going from being with her 24-hours a day to approximately four, if I'm lucky. Instead, too often, I find myself thinking "I'm just going to grab my phone to turn on music for us", and ten minutes later I'm still checking Emails, or texting my mom pictures of her, or watching another clip from The Late Night Show about the political craziness our country has found itself in. I have to constantly remind myself to put my phone away, and tune-in.
Just as I was trying to self-justify that "only a couple of minutes of being on my phone in front of June is totally fine", my step-dad sent me an article titled If Your Kids Are in the Room, Why You Need to Get Off Your Phone Now. The article is about a 2015 study by the Boston Medical Center that looked to see how screen-time affected parent-child interactions. In the study, undercover researchers observed the behavior of both adults and children in 55 groupings, and anecdotal findings showed that "parents who were on their devices had more negative interactions with their children, and 40 out of 55 parents were more absorbed in their mobile device than their family," according to the article. The problem with parents being more engaged with their phone than their own kids is that through face-to-face interactions "children learn language, they learn about their own emotions, and they learn how to regulate them," said Dr. Jenny Radesky. "They learn by watching us how to have a conversation, how to read other people's facial expressions. And if that's not happening, children are missing out on important development milestones." Thanks Dr. Jenny Radesky for completely trashing any justifications I had for being on my phone, and leaving me with a total of zero excuses to put.the.phone.down.
Finish reading this mommy's brain at http://www.themommybrain.org