My teen son sent a text message to me the other evening saying, “Ma, I’m going to play night basketball.”
I responded with, “Ok, be home by dark.”
His next response came with several crying emoji and the statement, “I don’t think you get it.”
As I re-read the message I sent back my own set of emoji along with “lol”. I was in the middle of something else when I distractedly read the text message from my son.
If you’re like the average parent, our minds can go in a million places at one time. It may be planning the grocery list, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, checking emails or figuring out where the kids need to be and when. Whew.
How do you resolve the problem of parenting while distracted? Practice doing less. In a recent blog post I read, the mom said she was going to practice doing less. This meant saying no more often. No to things that will make your schedule jam packed and leave you with an overwhelmed feeling.
Our kids need our attention. One way to do this is to practice what we preach. If we tell our kids to limit their electronic time, we should do the same. Dedicate a specific amount of time each day for no use of electronic devices (cell phone, laptop, iPad, etc.) Spend this time talking or doing something together.
It may be a challenge at first to put down your electronics and resist the urge to check email, Browse Facebook or pick up your phone every time it dings with a message. You have to start somewhere. Are you up for the challenge?
My response to my son’s text message let me know that I needed to pay more attention to my children and what they are saying.
What has been your experience parenting while distracted?