Surprise surprise, the answer is pretty simple. Be there. Be present in the moment with your kid(s). Put down the phones, tablets, cameras, etc and be there. Your kids won’t remember the time you didn’t take pictures at their dance recital. They will remember that you were there and you clapped louder than anyone else. In this day in age, it’s easy to get lost in the availability of technology. We instagram, Facebook, Pin, tweet and selfie like there’s no tomorrow. Technology has allowed us to live vicariously through our favorite celebrities eyes thanks to Instagram. Facebook has given us the misconception that the world wants to see every time our babies sneeze snot bubbles and smile. While technology has given us the chance to stay connected to family and friends far away, we forget to actually disconnect now and then. And our kids take notice of that. When I pick Bean up from school, I actually talk to her(gasp!) I ask her about her day, what her favorite part of the day was. At night, before bed, we talk some more. We talk about what she wants to be when she grows up, we talk about ponies and dolphins and black holes(yes black holes, she’s obsessed with outer space). And sometimes we have serious conversations too. Recently we lost a furry family member, so sometimes we talk about death and what happens after someone dies. Don’t let the television raise your kids. And here’s a news flash, it’s not your kid’s teachers job to raise your kid. You decided to have this child. Now be there for them. It won’t kill you if you don’t facebook your plans to go to the zoo for the day. Instagram will survive if you forgo your morning coffee pic and instead talk to your kid about homework or school or anything. Today there are so many reasons to constantly connected. But in your life there’s at least one amazing reason to disconnect from the world and pay attention to what’s going on inside your own home. I bet there’s a pretty awesome fort just waiting to be built if you can manage to pull yourself away from Trivia Crack.
Now i understand the irony of writing this, as this is one of those social media distractions that keep us away from our lame lives for just a few minutes longer. But I save this time for when Bean is occupied or asleep. I don’t want her to remember that Mommy was glued to her phone or tablet. I want her to remember that I was there. That I paid attention and was involved. Sometimes I have to remind myself that its ok to just take a mental picture of the moment because taking my phone or camera out would ruin the time we are spending together. Memories are better anyway. Easier to get to when you need to be reminded of the good times. By constantly having our phones in our hands and letting the world interrupt whatever we are doing, we are teaching our kids that it’s totally acceptable to interrupt anyone at anytime. No time is sacred anymore. D is notorious for this. He works in an industry that requires constant attention. And the little time he is home is constantly being interrupted by his employees. Dinner, bed time, bath time, “quality time”…..his phone is constantly ringing or buzzing. In the middle of a conversation he will answer his phone, giving the impression that what Bean or I might have been saying wasn’t really that important. I don’t want to live in a world of constant interruption. I’m trying to teach my child NOT to interrupt people.
So do yourself and your family a favor. Disconnect. For an hour. For a day. Go on vacation and lock the phone away only to be used in emergencies. That’s how your parents did it and everything was just fine. Give it a try. I bet there’s a pretty awesome kid just waiting for you to stop taking pictures of them being goofy and get goofy with them.
Until next time…..keep those toes in the sand and the phone outta your hand