The Dangers of Distracted Parenting
When it comes to children’s development, parents should worry less about kids’ screen time—and more about their own.
A ritual my students and I engage in at ZTC day-camps is “life” discussions in which every boy and girl participates before splitting up into their own groups for the day.
I like to pick my student’s brains with questions like “What is something adults do, that you wish you can do?” and we get all kinds of funny & serious answers causing the kids to smile/laugh/yell/ and express relatable emotions throughout the room.
One day, as a way for all of us to “connect” and build relationships in the studio, I asked the question “What do you wish your parents would do for you?” Although some answered with “buy me a hover-board” or “take me to Cedarpoint”, about 90% of the students replied with “I wish my mom/dad would put their phones down”…
As a parent myself, that hit me hard… and I know it’s something my own kids would say.
Let’s face it, the parenting struggle is real and times are changing. I am not against technology in my own home, because as a working mom of three and business owner, I do use my phone often, but I’m also working hard on putting my phone down and being present when my kids are off school or with me over the weekend.
My heart hurt hearing the kids say they wanted more attention and I’m writing this blog as a reminder to myself and all parents to focus less on asking their kids to get off their technical devices and focus more on their own usage.
We, as parents- although constantly present in our children’s lives physically, can tend to get less emotionally attuned.
Setting an example that time spent on devices is time not spent actively exploring the world and relating to other human beings is what our kids NEED from us.
Not only can we miss emotional cues, but actually misread them. A tuned-out parent may be quicker to anger than an engaged one, assuming that a child is trying to be manipulative when, in reality, he/she just wants attention.
Young children will do a lot to get a distracted adult’s attention, and if we don’t change our behavior, they will attempt to do it for us; we can expect to see a lot more tantrums as today’s toddlers age into school. But eventually, children may give up. It takes two to tango, and studies have shown the world that there are limits to what a kid/teen can do without a willing dance partner. The truth is, we don’t really know how much our kids will suffer when we fail to engage.
Let’s be the change we want to see in the world!!
Again, I just want to thank all the parents in our community for putting their trust in me with their kids and just know, they will always be cared for and loved at ZeeTheCook. We are not against technology, but do believe that everything in moderation is key!
Have a great weekend everyone!!!
All The Best,
ZeeTheCook Culinary Studio
24732 W Warren
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127