Parenting our millennial children is becoming increasingly difficult. When your kids are nose down in their cell phones, you know how difficult it is to get their attention. The inverse also applies. When your child needs you, where is your focus? Here are some ways to remind yourself to detach from the smartphone and return to the “real” world when dealing with your millennial children.
1. Good Parenting Means Setting A Good Example
A lot of your kids’ behavior depends on you. By controlling your cell phone use, you set an example for them to follow. Be honest with your children about your own challenges in managing cell phone time, this often helps them manage theirs. Addiction to digital gadgets is not just something kids have.
2. Get Off Your Phone When Your Child Needs You
Children sense when you’re distracted by your phone. When they are talking to you as you stare at your phone, they will probably not feel like a priority. You’d feel the same way if your kids did that to you. It’s always a good idea to put down the phone and look at your child when they speak to you.
3. Put Your Cell Phone Away During Dinner
Cell phone use during meals should be a strict no-no for all family members. Studies indicate that families who share meals together are stronger and healthier, especially dinner. Cell phones should enhance family time, not detract from it.
4. Put Your Cell Phone Away During Playtime
Children need to know that you’re fully present during playtime. Getting away from the phone allows you to share in the fun, and provides a welcomed break from the constant chatter in this digital age. Real world bonding is critical to you and your children.
5. Use Your Cell Phone to Share Your Love
When you use your smartphone as a way to stay connected with your child, they will appreciate it more than they realize. Share loving texts and engaging videos with your child. Follow your child on Facebook and other social media apps. Rather than one who is constantly checking their phone, good parenting techniques mean your children will remember you as being present in their life.