Put your phone away!

June 2013

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In the recent years, I realised that I have been increasing reliant on my smartphone. It is to the point where I actually feel incredibly at lost without it or I actually will get flustered when the phone goes missing. The truth is I don’t do anything important on it- I usually just read/reply my Whatsapp messages, check Facebook updates, read news/blogs. Most of the time, it will be mindless surfing of net while caring for the children. Well, it feels like pretty normal except Ryan is becoming very vocal and opinionated.

Sometimes, I almost forget that Ryan is no longer a baby. Now, at 26 months, he insists that I give him full attention when I am playing with him, teaching him or watching tv with him. He will point to my phone and say, ” Put away! Put! Put!”, or put my phone away, saying, “Draw with Ryan.” He actually looks and sounds frustrated at me and I will have the guilty and sheepish smile. The roles of reversed- except I(and E) are the teenage kids and Ryan feels like the exasperated parent.

I am not the only guilty party here. E is way more interested in playing some Blood Brothers app on his phone that even I feel neglected. Anyway, you see, my mother has come to notice that we are getting quite distracted as parents and reminded me that we really need to set our priorities right. (-_-)”’ I certainly do not want Ryan to think that my phone is much more important that him.Β For the sake of our children’s social and emotional development, I suppose it is time for E and I to set some boundaries for technology at home. There should be some phone-free space between us and the children.

I thought of some rules that we can follow when we are home with the kids:
1. No phone use during meal times
2. Put away the phone when children are doing dangerous activities like swimming.
3. Face-to-face time: Make conscious effort to focus on our children when we are with them.

I am really not sure how it will eventually work out but I am willing to try it out for at least a week. I am sure E will feel the same or perhaps he will hide in the toilet for longer periods to play his game. Still, I am hopeful that maybe we will adopt having better phone behavior- to be less preoccupied with the smart phones and start noticing Ryan’s latest range of vocabulary.

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