Generation Device Parenting by Rebecca Briant
Recently I was sitting at a park with my two toddlers. The park was busy and there were quit a lot of parents around (both mothers and fathers). I looked around and realised that very few of the parents – including myself, were fully watching and engaging in our children whilst they played. What were most of the parents doing? Looking at smart devices.
That’s right! nearly every single person at the park was on a device not fully supervising their children, let alone engaging in quality time with them. There is Generation Baby Boomer, Generation X, Y and Z. But have we become Generation Devices? Are we really putting 100% into spending time with our little ones or are we merely existing with them whilst checking emails, Facebook or Instagram?
Even our interactions with our children have become social media focused. We no longer just push our children on the swing, we take a photo to upload it. Are we missing the moment and the point of spending time with our kids? Likewise, what message are we sending our children? That everything you do needs to be uploaded online for people’s judgement and comments. That your self-worth is based on the amount of likes you receive on a post.
Don’t get me wrong, I think social media can be a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family especially in an ever increasingly global society. However, have we let it creep too much into our parenting? Are we going to have a generation of children who think its normal to have a smartphone in your hand capturing every moment instead of being in the moment and living it?
Now, I am not perfect by any means and can be guilty of checking Instagram whilst around the kids. But lately I have made a determined effort to put down my device and only check it when the children are asleep or not around. Since doing this I have noticed a big shift in their behaviour and attitude and I believe that it is because mummy is now fully involved with them. They are not trying to compete with my phone for attention and they are enjoying it and to be honest so am I. There is less crying, tantrums and attention seeking behaviour.
There is something very freeing about not needing or wanting to check your emails, Facebook or Instagram every few hours to see what the latest mummy blogger has been up to. I recommend all parents try it and see just how much of a difference it makes to live in the moment rather than existing in front of the screen.
Rebecca is an Australian stay at home mum to two beautiful children Olivia (2- years old) and Jensen (1-year-old). She suffered from severe hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy and endometriosis prior to pregnancy. She loves reading and learning, particularly about holistic living, women’s health, and parenting. She currently live in New Zealand.