You, your phone, and your child

If you locked your phone up in a glass case for a day, what would happen to you?

Photo Credit: lecates via Compfight cc

More and more of us seem to fall into a pattern of automatically checking our smartphones – we’re reading our emails, checking our text messages, catching up with social media… It is easy to get wrapped up in the relationship we have with our phones that we actually miss what is happening around us. Doing this can actually disconnect us from those we care about if we start to focus too much on our social media world rather than our actual world.

Then take it a step further. We are role models for our children. Think about how frustrating it can be when your young person is saying, “uh huh…uh huh…” while looking at their phone the entire time. Do we do the same thing to them?

A great article from Real Simple magazine helps give some tips about how to help you be more present and less dependent on your phone. If you show your child you can do it, they might try it too!

1. Give Yourself Rules

Decide when you do and don’t want to be on your phone. For example, choose to focus on other things whenever you’re outside or in bed.

2. Buy an Alarm Clock

While it might seem more convenient to use your phone, using it as an alarm practically begs you to stay on it for 15 minutes before getting up.

3. Sign Off of Social Media for a Weekend

Seems scary right? You can do it! Giving yourself the space from those in your social media circles will free up mind space, allowing you to enjoy your surroundings.

4. Think Before You Check

Is the reason you are checking your phone boredom? If so, wait until you have a more concrete reason to do so, such as viewing a friend’s prom photos. Try something else that will boost your mood instead.

5. Consider Your Motives for Posting on Social Media

Think before you post.  Why are you posting that picture? Its always nice to get positive feedback like getting likes. But will we be upset if we don’t? Sometimes, especially if you are down, it is better to look for positive feedback from someone you know will be supportive. Next time, try sending it to someone you know cares about you – like a good friend, family member, or your child.

6. Respond Another Way

Did Facebook just tell you it’s your friend’s birthday? Skip the “Happy bday!” wall post and give them a call instead. Maybe you will have a valuable conversation and set up a time to get together instead of just getting a “like” and minimal interaction.

7. Cut it Out

Alerts and addicting apps can get in the way of you going on with your day. What are the apps you really like and need? Can you delete Words with Friends? Need to finish a project? Disable your internet for a while so that you can focus without interruptions.

Adapted from Real Simple article by author: Julia Edelstein

Read more here!

Lastly, there’s an app called Forest that works really well to encourage you not to be on your phone, instead focusing on the task at hand.  You enter the app and can “plant a seed,” which takes 30 minutes to grow into a tree.  If you leave the app at any time to check another app (like social media) the tree will die, and you’ll have to start over.  Eventually, your hard work will grow into your own personal forest in your phone.  Interested?  Click here to learn more.

Have you ever done any of these?  Do you have any tricks of your own, or did you try any with your child?  Let us know!

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