So the other night, I accidentally left my cell phone in my toddler’s room and he found it. When I retraced my steps to find the phone, he was lying on the floor trying to swipe away on it, just like mommy and daddy.
No, he didn’t figure out how to unlock the phone, but that’s not really the point. A better question is why did I have my cell phone in my toddler’s room in the first place? I was there to change his diaper, put him in pajamas, and read him a story. None of those activities required me having a smartphone. So why was it with me?
To be honest, it has become a habit just to keep the phone around me at all times (other than at mealtimes where phones are not allowed). I might want to look something up, distract myself while waiting for my children, or snap a quick picture of them doing something cute. But, in reality, it might be stopping me from adhering to children’s number one expectation around technology – being present.
In a recent blog post, Raychelle Cassada Lohmann shared a recent study that surveyed parents and children around their technology expectations for each other. Number one on both lists was being present. Ouch! Our phones can be great tools, but they can also be distractions. How many times have you allowed the world pass you by why you are staring at a 4 inch screen?
We spend a lot of time thinking about what the technology rules and expectations should be for our children. Are we creating a do as I say, but not as I do situation? Maybe it’s time to sit down and have that conversation about ourselves with our kids.