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Is Having Social Media on Your Phone Making You a Distracted Parent?

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If you’re going to tell me that you never find yourself staring at your phone, mindlessly scrolling through social media until something snaps you out of it, leaving you wondering what your kids are destroying and what exactly you’re doing with your life…I honestly think that you’re lying.

I mean…I’ve heard of people out there who don’t engage in social media, but I kind of feel like they’re basically Bigfoot.

So, if you’re like the rest of us real-life parents, and you ever wonder whether your phone and social media are negatively impacting your parenting, well…the answer is maybe.

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It's #letstalkTuesday! Today, we're talking about something that can hinder effective parenting, which each of us probably does every single day…use our smart phones! In her @theatlantic article, "The Dangers of Distracted Parenting," Erika Christakis warns that modern parents are easily distracted by their smart phones, leaving their children to make do with “continual partial attention.” Fixated on our screens, we tend to engage in less back-and-forth conversation with our children, and we become irritable when they interrupt us. This type of "technoference" can be harmful to our children because it causes us to be physically present with our kids, but less emotionally attuned. ________________ Mamas, what actions do you take to limit your screen time around your children so that you can give them your full attention? What tips do you have for being intentionally present? Let's talk…. Comment below or meet us in our stories to remain anonymous. _________________ #parentingtips #realtalk #screentime #smartphones #distractedparenting #healthykids #healthymoms #bepresent #presentmotherhood #mindfulmotherhood #mamalife #motherhood #momlife #transparency #authenticity #nojudgementzone #mamaencouragement #blackmomsblog #eritrea #eritreans #dmvmoms #habesha #habeshamoms

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Most of us grew up in a vastly different time, but one thing definitely hasn’t changed – kids can always tell when you’re not really paying attention to them.

Our parents weren’t distracted by social media or electronic devices, but we’ve all had a dad who told us to “hold on just a minute” while he watched the end of the big game, or a mom who was going back to school for her master’s degree and needed us to go away and be quiet for a few minutes.

If you stop and think about it, though, how exactly are we going to explain to our own kids that we were too busy to look, to play, to come see, because we were scrolling our Instagram feeds?

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💡TUESDAY TIP💡 The other day my kids were running around the house playing tag while I was making dinner. At one point I started scrolling on my phone when my son ran up to me to ask for something. I didn’t reply quick enough so he very loudly said to me “mama, put away phone”. My stomach basically flipped and I had a huge ah-ha! moment. We have a HUGE parenting epidemic on our hands called “distracted parenting” and we are all guilty to some degree. Distracted parenting has come as a result of parents paying less attention to their children because they're distracted by that shiny piece of tech. Distracted parenting can cause serious emotional, social, and behavioural issues for our children Our children need our undivided attention! It’s time to stop multitasking, checking emails, and glancing at social media. It’s time to be less distracted and more attentive for their sake and ours #childhooddevelopment #instamom #torontomom #parenting #parenting101 #toddlers #tuesdaytips #distractedparenting

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Call me crazy, but I don’t think they’ll understand.

Or maybe they will, if we’re still living in this dystopia where strangers on our phones get more attention than our kids on a daily basis.

I’m not ragging on the internet. There are obviously amazing things that have come from our ability to easily and immediately connect around the globe, and as far as parenting, being able to be in touch with our kids all day and night can be a lifesaver.

That said, there’s also plenty of research that shows too many screens too soon is bad for brain development, so even if we use a television show to get the dishwasher emptied, take a shower, exercise, pay a check, or any of the above, everyone being present in the moment is the ideal scenario.

Our kids should be playing outside. Drinking pretend tea and donning towels to make believe they are superheroes. Fighting with their siblings about nothing and everything only to sneak the other one extra marshmallows when they’re in time out.

Social media has been linked to unrealistic expectations, depression, and anxiety, and maybe the best way to convince our kids they don’t need that crap until they’re older is for all of us to be able to take a step back and convince ourselves that we’re not addicted after all.

You know. At least until after they go to bed at night.

Then you can indulge in whatever (legal) unhealthy habits you might have. In my house, no pint of Ben & Jerry’s is safe after kiddos are tucked in and kissed goodnight.

A rebel, I am. Don’t @ me.