When my three-year-old daughter held up her hand and said: “My phone says…” I wondered if I was spending too much time looking at a screen.
She also has an imaginary tablet to search for her missing things, just as I use an app to find my missing phone, writes Sarah Booker Lewis.
Our children are growing up surrounded by technology and smart phones.
As parents our smartphones are often to hand as we take pictures and search for information.
During the months of exclusive breastfeeding I became a screen addict.
I trawled through Facebook groups speaking to other mothers, read articles and became almost glued to my phone.
As my daughter grew and became more mobile it was a battle for me to put the phone down and focus on what she needed and wanted.
I had to fight the screen addiction and focus on interaction with my walking and talking child.
Sometimes Mummy is working on the phone, she understands this.
“When I finish this email we can play,” is a line she’s heard many times.
As she taps on her hand I ask what she’s doing.
“I’m replying to an important email Mummy,” she says.
This year I am trying to take a step back from technology when she is around.
As much as she enjoys a puzzle game on screen and we research information she wants to know, such as “what is inside a flamingo mummy?” I don’t need to check my mail when we could be drawing or discovering.
Fellow Officreche mother Eliza St John feels the same way.
In her blog Distracted mother: Is my smartphone damaging my relationship with my children? She writes: “The boundaries have simply blurred, meaning my children no longer have my undivided attention when I’m with them.
“I may be physically more present but when we’re constantly in contact on email and phone I wonder if I’m mentally present for my children.
“I doubt it – we can’t divide our attention equally and it’s often the small person in front of us that has to wait for their turn.”
They are small for such a short period of time.
It’s better to make their memories of their parents more fun than focused on a screen.