• The Hopefulist

Your kids are watching

Do you worry that your kids spend too much time online? Are you being a good model for them? You have no credibility when you tell your kids to do as you say, not as you do. If your kids are watching you with a phone in your face for most of the day what do expect them to do?

I don’t have kids so you can dismiss what I have to say since I don’t know what it’s like. You’re are absolutely right. I don’t know what it is really like. This is my opinion and you can take it or leave it.

Most of us with kids grew up in a time when being online was not even close to what it is today. There was no online at all when I grew up. I understand that times are different. I get that it is easier to set the kids up with a device so they can be occupied while you get dinner on the table or finish that email for work. It can be very tempting. I know we were parked in front of the t-v. Anything to keep the kids out of your hair for a little while. But back then you couldn’t take the t-v with you. If we went for a long car ride, we read books. We listened to the radio. And we talked to each other. We used to go on a trip every year to visit my father’s family in West Virginia. It was a ten-hour car ride. We tried to sleep as much as we could. We took a Rubik’s cube or travel games. I actually don’t even think it’s a bad thing that kids have some device time in the car or watch a dvd. But hopefully not for a full ten hours.

I think people are extremely tired when they get home from work and just want a little me time. You feel like you deserve to catch up on social media or read that blog you like to follow. And you do. Maybe there is a way you can wait until after the kids go to bed. It is sad if you are making your kids compete with your phone for attention. If these words are upsetting you or making you a little uncomfortable, is it because there may be some truth in it? Not only do they feel in competition with your phone but they will start modeling that behavior. They will just assume this is what being a “grown up” is like.

You know kids are always trying to grow up as fast as possible. Now, with all the options like Netflix, video games, smart phones and tablets it’s hard for them to get some old-fashioned kid stuff in. Like playing with their neighborhood friends. Riding bikes or making forts. I’m sure the kids still do that type of stuff but how often? It helps create their imagination. It gives them time to just be without having to absorb something . Remember when I was telling you the other day how our phones are making us dumb. I believe they truly are affecting our memory. Sure, you can look anything up on google but what about childhood memories of holidays, first days of school, the plays and dance recitals. You don’t want them to forget all of that.

We have become a society that can’t be still. Part of the memory issues comes from the fact that it takes 7 seconds for something to solidify in your memory. We never wait 7 seconds for anything. Myself included. I read constantly while I’m watching t-v. When a commercial comes on I immediately pick up my book. And I really don’t remember a lot of what happens in these shows I’ve been watching. I will watch a rerun and forget about a whole segment. It’s crazy. Yet, I don’t stop doing it. We should try to figure out a way to be a little more still in our lives.

One of the things I do love to do since I don’t have kids is watch my dog. You’ve seen how cute she is. I posted a video of us yesterday. I love to just watch her sleep, listen to her snore and when she starts barking in her dream. I love taking her for walks because the joy she gets from them is contagious. I love when she runs in the house she goes right for the tennis ball and is ready to play. If you don’t already, just sit back and observe your kids. I mean, you made them for crying out loud! Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor (quite literally!)

It’s hump day! I hope you can put the phone down a little more today than you did yesterday. And a little more tomorrow. Be bored. It’s okay, it won’t kill you. Now, go make it your best day yet!

Please check out my website. It’s your one stop spot for everything “The Hopefulist”. Hopefulist.com.

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