by Comprehensive Staff

11/20/2015 5:39 pm

Unplugged Parenting

Unplugged Parenting

In today’s busy, fast-paced world, parents have many demands that compete for their time and attention. Because many of these demands are inevitable, like jobs and housekeeping, parents often struggle to find time to connect with their children on a regular basis. Children of all ages seek one thing from their parents: positive attention. And while parenting classes encourage parents to increase the amount of positive attention they give their children, many people find it difficult to cut down on their demands.

One thing that can easily be reduced is screen time—technology and social media distractions that keep parents from spending quality time with their children.  Parents can make a conscious choice to turn away from their screens and turn off all digital devices. It means resisting temptations to check text messages and e-mail or scroll through social media posts. To escape technology may involve thoughtfully establishing personal and family media rules, setting boundaries that will protect the time that we give to families.

Some ideas:
• Put everyone’s phones in the glove compartment when you drive so you could actually have a conversation with your kids.
• Turn off the notifications on your phone while you are with your children.  You will not be tempted to look at your phone whenever it dings.
• Turn your computer off until the kids go to bed so you will not get sucked into email or social media.
• Have a technology-free day each weekend. No phones, tablets, or other screen time.
• Ban cell phones from your dinner table every night.

A small but conscious effort to let go of daily distractions can produce a huge change in the family dynamic. Try it for a few weeks and see how external and internal distractions can sabotage family happiness and prevent meaningful connections with the people we love. Simply turn everything off. Then give your children what they want most—your positive attention.

If you are interested in learning more about positive parenting, visit our website www.cwcmh.org for information about our Strong Families Parenting Program and to find upcoming class dates.