Have you ever heard the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do?” Probably you have.
It’s wishful thinking. Especially when it comes to our kids.
The fact of the matter is: our children are much more influenced by the things we do than by the things we say, so if we’re always telling them to make their beds, eat their vegetables, and put down the video game controller, they’re far less likely to do those things when they see us leave our blankets on the floor, scrape our own veggies into the trash, and take twenty-minute bathroom breaks so we can squeeze in another level of Candy Crush.
From the time our children enter this world, they learn how to interact with it by watching those around them, especially us, their parents. They learn how to use their arms and legs, they learn how to mimic facial expressions and read body language, they learn how to communicate nonverbally and how to emulate voice and speech patterns to speak the language.
Children do most of their learning through observation, and they tend to be very perceptive.
So what are we teaching them and are we being a good tech example or not?
Are we teaching them that the screen in front of us is worth more of our attention than they are?
Are we teaching them that the instant the phone in our pocket buzzes or beeps, we must look at it discover what it’s trying to tell us?
Are we teaching them that a Facebook conversation is more important than a face-to-face one?
As parents, we’re always setting an example for our kids. Whether that example is one they should follow or not is up to us. So we at iParent.TV would encourage everyone to keep that in mind as we interact with technology ourselves, remembering that it is a tool to help make our lives better, not a taskmaster that demands our undivided attention.
It’s very easy to hear these kinds of things and either get defensive or feel guilty, but that isn’t our intent. We can be some of the worst offenders in this regard! We’re speaking from experience here.
So just take this as an encouragement to practice a little patience with your technology and make sure isn’t taking priority over your children.
That screen can probably wait. Our kids can’t.