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I have noticed lately that screen time for parents has become a huge problem. Its almost like we use technology as a crutch to get through our day. What are we teaching our kids? We always have a phone in our hand, you have the TV on to occupy your kids to get some household tasks done, you are looking at your phone instead of having a nice conversation with your man. I mean honestly, I can raise my hand right now and say I do this! or at least I used too.
Why is technology our crutch?
I really started to notice my addition to my phone and to the TV after my second daughter was born. I used the TV to keep my oldest daughter engaged so I could feed her sister. Or I would give her my cell phone at the store to prevent or stop melt downs. I would even start to sit and catch up on social media and have my oldest daughter look over at me with this look on her face that could really only mean, “put your damn phone down and hang out with me.”
Some parents use their phones as a way to catch up on the news, see what going on with their friends and family. I do the same thing, but what they don’t realize is how quickly that becomes addicting. Soon later you will find yourself looking at your phone rather than spending quality time with your husband or kids.
It doesn’t stop at phones though; the TV will keep their attention for hours if you put on Frozen. Using the TV allows you to get some laundry done or house cleaning. I do this too, and why? Because I do not have to entertain my kids all the time. Sometimes we need the TV, and I am cool with that. But, what I am not cool with is over using it.
What about Kindles or IPad for kids? Right, hand that back to your kid on a long car ride and they are good. Now, there are some seriously awesome learning programs on phones and tablets. I love our kids Kindle. But what other options are there outside of handing our kids technology to catch a break?
What about starring at your phone when you could be having a nice chat with your man? Put your phone down and spend quality time with your spouse!
Let me ask you this! Have you noticed your child lashing out more when your face is in your phone? Have you ever thought about maybe they just want your attention? The day I noticed I had a screen time problem when my oldest came up to me, move my phone down and said in the sweetest voice ever, “mama cuddle?.” Put your damn phone down and cuddle once in awhile.
Try These 5 Tips to Help Limit Screen Time!
1. Take a Break From Social Media!
I understand fully that this one will be hard for your to try. If you follow Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat; then delete them from your phone for 30 days. If you can’t break from all of them, try half of them. This will free up time. If you do not have as much to look at on your phone than the quicker you can put the thing down!
2. Get Your Kids Involved With Household Tasks!
If you put on a TV show or movie to keep your kids attention while you fold laundry, clean floors, bathroom, etc.; try getting kids involved with household chores. My daughter tries to fold clothes with me, she helps me put clothes away, she uses her little vacuum and broom if that is what I am doing. Make it fun, put on music instead of the TV. Dance around and get them engaged by having them help you! Start doing this at an early age and it will be normal for them later on! My daughter has these super fun cleaning tools and she loves to use them with me as I clean! If you think your child would enjoy these too, you can pick them up here on Amazon.
First up, a toy toddler Dyson! And guess what? It picks up stuff! Wahoo, high five!
This mop and broom set is also a huge hit in our house!
And finally, the cleaning tote! My daughter loves all of these toys! It gives us more time to bond and also allows me to clean the house!
3. Avoid Giving Your Kids Your Phone When Running Errands to Prevent Tantrums!
Many times in the wake of a meltdown, I will give my daughter my phone. It takes her attention away from what she was going to freak out about. If it is not meltdowns, it is patience. Their patience level is nil so I will give them my phone to finish grocery shopping or to finish in any store really! But, what you can do instead is to making shopping a game. When grocery shopping, have them help pick out your produce and put it in a bag, ask them what color something is or what fruit or veggie it is, even have them help you count. Make things fun, engage them with a fun activity. When other moms see you having fun with your kids out in public they are typically envious! Score for mom!
4. Never Have Your Phone Out at The Table!
This goes back to good ole communication people. Put your phone away and enjoy a meal with your family! There is nothing else that needs to be said here! Put your phone away and have a conversation!
5. Instead of Playing On Your Phone, Take Turns Rubbing Each Others Shoulders and Just Talk!
My husband and I do this. I will rub your shoulders if you rub mine! What does this do? It keep your hands busy so you can’t fidget with your phone. Not only are your helping each other relax but this is a great time to spend chatting together. Communication is key for any healthy marriage so work on it everyday! We like to place bets against each other on Jeopardy! Who ever get the most points get a 5 minute back massage! I typically always loose! Oh well, its still fun and we definitely laugh!
Let Wrap This Up With a Bonus Tip!
Instead of filming or photographing everything your child does, put your phone down and just take it all in. Create the memory with your mind versus your phone. You will be surprised on just how beautiful the world is when your not looking at it through your phone.