I think of the days when my mom or dad would take my brothers and I out to dinner. Other than the occasional book brought to the table, we were pretty much always engaged with one another. I guess we were lucky to have never been sitting down, having a meal together during the age of the smartphone.
Now, when I’m out with my own child I can’t help but notice all of the other parents nose deep in their phones, not interacting with their child. Now, I’m not saint, I too have been guilty of the phone coma while I’m spending time with my son. It really takes the validity out of the term, “spending time”. That term means you’re engaged and aware of the moments happening with another person.
It’s important we take a break from our phones, especially while with our little ones. Studies have shown that excessive phone use while with our children is damaging our relationships with them. Being on our phones all of the time causes children to feel ignored. We are also not utilizing that time to have conversations with them.
It’s important children feel heard by their parents. They are more willing to share pertinent information, and can more easily express their feelings when you are actively engaged in a conversation with your child.