Monday, February 17, 2014

Guest Post: What Important Moments Are We Missing Because of Technology?


Today a post very near and dear to my heart is being shared by a guest blogger, Naomi Shaw. Being a work at home mom I am always struggling between getting work done and paying attention to Billy. This post reminds me how important it is to be fully "present" for my son. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

What Important Moments Are We Missing Because of Technology?

With the whole world online and so many virtual distractions beeping and buzzing for your attention, it can be too easy to miss out on the seemingly small, yet important moments of your child’s life. Here are a few pointers for enjoying their life and yours, even in this crazy world of technology.

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The following words of advice should encourage you to...

Connect with the people most precious to you.
Show your children that they matter to you.
Create beautiful memories without distraction.
Catch every opportunity for a real connection or learning breakthrough. 
Regret less and cherish more.

Don’t be that parent.

Your kids are outside and they’re playing catch, yelling for you to join them. You’re inside on your iPad playing an app game you just downloaded. Where are your priorities? 

Don’t be that parent that shuns their child away because they’re too busy playing a game, sending an email, or messaging with someone else on their device.
You’re showing your kids that your device is more important to you than spending time with them.
Your children are learning from you with each passing moment. Don’t teach them to ignore their friends and family for an online game.

When you’re engaged with them…

You and your child are playing cards on the kitchen table. Your phone buzzes with a text. You stop the game to see who’s trying to reach you. Your child watches you respond while he waits longingly for your attention.

Make sure your phone is off or stashed away in a place you can’t hear it, especially if you’re engaged in an activity with your children.
You’re teaching your children that they’re not worth your undivided attention when you let your phone distract you.

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When you’re supporting them…
You’re at their soccer game and you hear other parents cheering all around you. You look up from your phone to realize your daughter just scored the first goal. 

Turn your phone off during the game. If your child looks to the sidelines for support and sees that you’re not even watching, their disappointment can have detrimental effects.
Make sure to be fully focused during the entire game. Don’t assume your child can’t tell you’re only looking up periodically from your device.

When you’re out and about…
You’re at the zoo and your children are trying to grab your hands, trying to get you to look at the tiger behind the glass. You’re on your phone, responding to an email from work. 

Your children watch the tiger…and the other moms engaging with their children. They’re envious of those children, hoping that you could be more like their moms.
Put your phone away and be present. What’s more fascinating than your child seeing a tiger for the first time? 

Just in case these topics have yet to hit home, then read this email from one caregiver to another. This Hands Free Mama received the following message in her inbox upon revealing her own confessions of missing out on the lives of her children.

“I can recall a time when you were out with your children you were really with them. You engaged in a back and forth dialog even if they were pre-verbal. You said, ‘Look at the bus, see the doggie, etc.’ Now I see you on the phone, pushing your kids on the swings while distracted by your devices. You think you are spending time with them but you are not present really. When I see you pick up your kids at daycare while you’re on the phone, it breaks my heart. They hear your adult conversations. What do they overhear? What is the message they receive? I am not important; I am not important.”

As a parent, it’s your duty to be mentally and physically present for your kids. Put your devices away for their sake and yours. 

Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home mom in southern California. After being a stay-at-home mom for seven years she works as a full-time freelance writer. Naomi frequently collaborates with CandyConcepts. She enjoys blogging about mommy tips and DIY crafts providing insight, advice and more! She hopes you enjoy this article.


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