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The 9-Step Technology Commitment Every Parent Needs to Make

Jun 2 2014 - 4:32am

As parents, we often worry so much about our child's interaction with technology that we can forget about the main person overusing devices these days: us! Whether you're a working parent who is trying to keep on top of things or you're a stay-at-home parent who's just seeking a break from the mundaneness of it all — we're all guilty of getting too caught up in technology at our children's expense. One study even suggests that many parents become agitated with their tots when they distract them from their smartphones [1]. Uh-oh! Guilty as charged!

If you've ever gotten annoyed with your little one when he was simply looking for your attention (but you were trying to get to the next level of Candy Crush), then check out a few ways to slowly step away from your phone — and make your whole family happier (including you).

Source: Shutterstock [2]

Put It on Silent

A simple solution might just be putting your phone on silent. Sure, it may drive your husband or mother absolutely batty when they are trying to get a hold of you, but not hearing the constant ding of a text or Facebook message could do wonders in forgetting about what's on the screen and paying attention to what's right there in front of you.

Source: Flickr user Caitlin Regan [3]

Delete Apps That Are Too Distracting

We all have those apps that we just can't quit. Maybe your time suck is social media like Facebook or Twitter. Or maybe it's games, like Candy Crush. If you find yourself spending more time on certain apps, try deleting them from your phone. Having more limited access just might be what you need to cut back.

Source: Flickr user Johan Larsson [4]

Set Aside Times You Will Use It

It's not that you should never use your phone in front of your kids, but you should limit that time, so set aside chunks throughout the day where you tell them, "Mommy is going to check her phone for 10 to 15 minutes, and then I'm all yours!"

Source: Flickr user BuzzFarmers [5]

Put It Away For the Day

With Summer upon us, this one is going to be especially hard, but think about putting your phone up and away while you're hanging out at home with your children. You can always check it from time to time, but not having it on you will eliminate the urge to check your email again (and again).

Source: Flickr user arvind grover [6]

Have No-Phone Zones

Come up with a few "No-Phone Zones" — places for your family where phones are not allowed (places where your children spend the most time): the car, the playroom, your child's room, etc. This way, you're guaranteed to be present, and your phone is not.

Source: Flickr user Ray Dehler [7]

Keep Phones Out of Sight During Child's Events

Of course, you are going to take pictures, but there is a difference between texting your pal about how boring the game is and snapping some action shots. Sporting events, recitals, ceremonies, etc. are all places when mama should be extra careful to give her attention to her child (and not her iPhone).

Source: Flickr user popofatticus [8]

Involve Your Children in Your Usage

Is there anything that you need to do on your phone that your child can help with? For example, the other day I was shopping on Amazon for a birthday gift for my child's friend, and admittedly not paying much attention to my daughter. She asked me why I was looking at my phone so much, I felt terrible and immediately included her (which I should have done in the first place) on picking the gift.

Source: Flickr user Josh Engroff [9]

No Usage During Times Where Safety Is Involved

This is a hard one to do, especially if, like me, you find yourself at the same playground each and every day. The truth is, though, that if we are at a park, playground, pool, amusement park, or any other spot that can be dangerous for our kiddos, then it's best to keep our eyes on our kids and not our phones.

Source: Flickr user Derrick Loh [10]

Set Aside No-Device Times

There are certain times in a child's life when they should expect that their parent will be absolutely device free. Facebook can wait, because talking with your child at dinner, bedtime, picking up and dropping off from school, or during family game night are precious moments that you won't get back.

Source: Flickr user Chris [11]

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