Being an Attentive Parent Means Putting Away Your Technology
Parenting can be a challenge, but if you want to find one simple way to be better at it you only have to look as far as your phone. In fact, that electronic device that you have in your hand so often can offer a great parenting technique, but only if you put it away. Today’s parents are far too often more focused on their phones than they are on their children.
This is not to say that your children need to always be your primary focus, but it is important to model for your children that technology is not either. Children who see their parents constantly on their phone quickly realize that a screen can be more important than face to face interaction. Parents who put their technology away and instead focus on the people they are with and their current surrounding demonstrate to their children the importance of appreciating those people who are with you.
Playgrounds Are a Great Place to Teach Social Skills
If you were to go to any playground today you would likely see one or more parents sitting on outdoor park benches looking at their phones. Instead, of watching their children and enjoying the surroundings, parents too often are focused on their screens. Teaching children the importance of enjoying the outdoors is an important live school that is easier to achieve if you put your phone away and focus on the moment. Whether you are watching your children from afar or picking up the area and putting litter in the closest trash cans, you are modeling what it is to be in the moment.
And while you do not have to spend the entire time at a playground pushing your child in a plastic trie swing or going down the tube slide, you should be able to focus on how to be in the moment. Attentive parenting does not mean that you need to be over indulgent, but it does mean that you should be present.
The latest research indicates that as many as 66% of parent think that their children spend too much time on electronics, but the fact of the matter is that too many parents are modeling this kind of behavior. Instead of complaining about how much time your children spend looking at screens, model behavior that shows something different. You do not have to throw your phones in trash cans to get your message across, but you should put your screens away and pay attention to your children when you are with them.
From tire swings to trash cans, playgrounds are full of opportunity for parents to model how to interact with other people and to take care of an environment.