Technology and the Impact on Family LifeHow many times have you sat and talked with someone as they looked at their phone?
It is not nice to put someone on ignore, and it feels uncomfortable on the receiving end.
It leaves us feeling as if we are invisible and that we do not matter.
Now, draw that scenario around you and your child.
How would they feel if they were communicating with you, but you were paying attention to your phone instead?
What if this happens frequently?
Parents are a child’s first teachers in life and undivided attention is critical in that role.
Through our physical and mental presence, our child intrinsically learns that they are loved and appreciated, and in turn, they learn to love themself.
Technology Creates Divided Attention
“Your cell phone has already replaced your watch, alarm clock, and calendar. Don’t let it replace your family.” -Unknown
Technology is a great way to stay constantly connected.
The caveat to this is that constant connection robs our attention away from whoever and whatever surrounds us in our physical environment—including our children.
We do not want our children to feel worthless or second-hand to technology, so what can we do to help them feel worthy and loved?
Give Undivided Attention to Encourage Self-Love
Set your phone down. How we interact with our children can encourage them to think more positively about themselves.
When we give undivided attention, we portray a message to our children that they are worth our time and that they are valuable to us.
We build self-esteem in our children simply by communicating with them in a positive one-on-one manner.
This helps to create a solid foundation of self-worth that our children will carry with them throughout their entire life.
Are there practical ways to help our children feel good about themselves?
Deliberate Family Time Helps Our Children Love Themselves
Focused family time is a meaningful strategy that can help our children love themselves.
Face-to-face interactions are fundamental and essential to how our children learn and develop.
Interactions between family, especially between a parent and a child, are the building blocks of a child’s emotional, social, and cognitive growth.
Deliberate family time innately leads our children to model the positive attention and behaviors that they experience in the family setting, and this becomes a confidence-builder for every single family member.
To protect the positive outcome of family time, encourage everyone involved to set their electronics aside.
Does this mean you should give up technology entirely? No, only for a time, and only to ensure that face-to-face contact happens and that communication is deemed as precious and uninterrupted.
Invest in Family Time through Play
So, when you put down the phone and pick up a board game, or you initiate any playtime with the family, what happens?
Besides the fact that playtime lightens the mood in a household, it creates an atmosphere that everyone in the family is free to be who they are…to ‘just be’ themselves, and this inherently encourages confidence and self-love.
Your strategy as a parent who is freed up from any interruptions can use playtime as an investment in your child.
Playtime with You Can Help Your Child Feel Important
Your mind and body are with your child during playtime, and they know it. They know that you are tuned into them.
They are aware of your support when you put yourself on their level during play, and this is good for you too as you relax and enjoy a simple pleasure in life.
Your child senses that you are relaxed and that you revel in the downtime with them (away from electronics and the push of the world), and that you value their company.
You learn about your child when you engage in play with them.
You learn an entirely different way to communicate as you mold into a playing teammate compared to a busy parent-in-charge.
Your body language and communication during playtime can increase self-worth in your child through your verbiage.
This is your opportunity to offer encouragement, “Wow, you are good at that…you beat me!” “How did you do that? Teach me!”
There may come a day when your child does not want to play, or they may say, “I am bored with that game!”
This is a perfect chance to build confidence in your child by allowing them to initiate play as they see it.
And speaking of board games…ask your child what rules they might want to follow.
How do they want to play? Let them be the rule-maker and have fun with it!
Put the Phone Down to Foster Self-Love
Your social life on your phone, staying in touch with others, can be healthy for you if you set limits.
Limitations ensure that you set time aside for your family and your children.
Their self-love and mental wellness depend upon your undivided attention.
Making a conscious effort to spend family time without electronics will reap endless positive benefits for years to come.
As parents, we all want that outcome in life.
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