#WisdomWednesday – Parents, please get off your phones!
May 23, 2018
Are you one of those parents, who, like me, attempt to limit their kids screen time? The reccommended screen time for children between the ages of 2 and 5 is 1 hour. Did you know that? Of course you did! Because you, like me, have already done this research.
Did you know that recent studies have proved that adults spend approximately 9 hours on their phones? I bet you didn’t know that, not because you’re a bad parent but because sneaking a scroll through facebook or an upload of today’s lunch on instagram will only take a sec right? Wrong. There are very few people that ACTUALLY take a second to do what they need to do on social media, after all, social media is like the bermuda triangle. Many people get lost there, some, never to be seen again. (Just kidding)
So I know that you and I both did this research on how much screen time is good for your child. Tell me, did you google it? Did you just accept the answer or did you read a few articles? Did you whatsapp your buddies or your husband to ask their opinions? How long did this take you?
When I began my online journey and began putting in an extra effort to make my online business successful, I promised myself that it would not affect the hours that I put in with my kids. To be fair, everyone that works has certain ‘business hours’, everyone EXCEPT for work from home parents! I know this because my ‘business hours’ include working when my kids are asleep. I in no way am the perfect parent nor do I claim to be.
Admittedly, I have faltered on a few days where there were job opportunities that I needed to tender for or deadlines that had to be met and on these days, I was met with ‘Mum, look at me, I am talking to you’. For the better part though, I have managed to keep my promise, let me give you a true example.
Recently, my husband commented daily on how my phone was never to be seen. Strange huh, for someone who works with social media and the internet on an everyday basis. However, he did not know that leaving my phone and forgetting about it ENSURES that every day my family gets ME, 100% ME. Not me glancing up from my phone every now and then, just me, giving them my 100% attention.
You see, while writing this article, I did some research on how parents who spend too much time on social media affect their children. The general online consensus was that children are saddened when they see their parents on their phone. They feel that their parent is not giving them enough attention and does not really care about them. Remember, children NEED interaction from their parents in order to grow and not just grow, but develop. Here’s another sad example that I picked up online:
A mother spoke about how her husband would come home from work in a bad mood on some days. He would thereafter proceed to ‘chat’ to other people while basically ignoring his present family. Apart from her feeling shunted, her children then picked up on this vibe and started to act out. Causing the husband to turn only his angry shouts toward his family and his selected smiles toward his phone.
I know what you’re thinking, that this man should be stoned. And you’re probably right. However, I may not be an expert, but I would like to say this; There were days not so long ago in which Facebook, Twitter and whatsapp did not exist. In those days, we would all be a family together and be involved in each others development and lives. Lets not let those days die completely. I understand, if you, like me, have a business that you run online. However, make sure you set some time apart for your family. Let your family know when your business hours are and when are your family hours and try to stay true to your family hours by forgetting where your phone is.
Lets teach our children and future generations to come that relationships and human interaction is essential and can never be replaced.
What are your thoughts on limiting screen time for parents?
Simone Gobin is a 24 year old, it graduate, wife to Avi and mother to Yash & Ralee Gobin. She spends her days being a mother and a wife. She has decided to start a blog as a creative outlet as well as connect with other parents. Her belief is that there is a lot to learn from other parents out there and she welcomes all advice possible.