May 30, 2019

Smart Phone Addiction Among Parents





We know many students are addicted to their smart phones.  Look around and you'll see them glued to the screen. 
 
But before we talk about their addiction, we must take a look in the mirror.  Adults are addicted as well.  
 
Take a minute and think about it?  How much time each day do you spend looking at your phone's screen?  I'm sure it's substantial.  
 
And before I start writing about everyone else who is addicted to their smart phone, I must make a confession.  I am addicted as well.  I constantly interact with my phone for most of the day. Yes, much of it is business related, but much is not related to business.  Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night and check for updates, emails, etc.  Can you relate?
 
A report from Common Sense Media says that adults have grown more concerned about the amount of time their children are spending on a smart phone.  But, as adults, we can't say much, because we are addicted as well and they are watching us.  In fact, 40% of teenagers have the same concern for their parents.
 
James P Steyer, the CEO of Common Sense Media says, "If you're concerned about your own device use, which an increasing number of parents are, then you ought to be able to impart that wisdom to your kids."
 
But it can be hypocritical to tell children not to spend as much time on their phones, when they see us spending just as much or even more time on our phones.  
 
I wonder how many special moments we miss with our kids because we are glued to our screens. One day we are going to look up from our phones and our kids will be grown and gone.  And we will regret looking at a screen more than our kid's face.
 
The text messages keep coming, the Instagram posts keep popping up, the Facebook updates keep dinging and the phone video games keep drawing us in.  Check out these stats from the research that was gathered.
 
Parents
 
52% of parents say they spend too much time on their mobile device.  
 
60% say their children spend too much time on their mobile device. 


Teenagers
 
39% of teenagers say they spend too much time on their mobile device. 

40% of teenagers are concerned about the amount of time their parents spend on their phone.
 
So as parents, what can we do to prevent being ruled by our smartphones?  
 
Set the example. It's not effective to ask your children to put their phone down when you are on yours.
 
Put the phone down during meals.  Make the dinner table a "no phone zone."  Instead, spend time talking face to face.  And "Facetime" doesn't count. 
 
Spend more time playing with our kids outside.  Leave the phones inside and get outside for some fun in the sun.
 
Don't bring work home.  It can be difficult to leave work at the office if you have a smart phone.  You set it down for 15 minutes at home and when you pick it back up, there are 21 messages waiting for you from work.  And then you feel obligated to respond, especially if your boss sent the message.  Don't give in to this.  Have a conversation with your boss and let them know you would prefer to not be required to answer work related things when you are home with your family.  If he or she says "no," it may be time for a more family-friendly place to work. 
 
Set boundaries.  Establish times when you will not answer your phones unless it is an emergency.  

Your turn.  Do you think parents are addicted to their phones?  What boundaries do you set in your home for smart phone usage?  Do you struggle yourself with smart phone addiction?  Share your thoughts, tips and insight in the comment section below.

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