Limiting the Use of Gadgets - Parents Edition

Once in a while, Dens and I would have talks with our children on how we can do better as parents. During one of our recent discussions, my 5-year old daughter said "I wish mommy would not look at her iPhone too much". Eeps! Dens has been telling me the same thing for quite some time now but hearing it from my children was truly a wake-up call.

Social media has admittedly been a great tool to stay in touch with friends.  It bridges the physical gap and allows us to stay connected with those we rarely see.  However, I also realized recently that constantly catching up with friends on social media has been making me lose face time with the people that I am physically with. With that, Dens and I have recently agreed to limit the use of our phones while we are with the family. We would check messages and respond to urgent ones but limit the chats to when we are alone or when the kids are busy with their own activities.

Doing so has made me more present for my children. I realized that being present can translate to something as simple as looking at my children's eyes when they are talking to me. It means I no longer respond to their questions while staring at the 2 x 5 screen on my hand. 

In this gadget-laden world where we, as parents, try to find means and ways to limit our children's screen time, I wonder what example we are modeling.

A few nights ago, as I was putting the kids to sleep, we sat on the bed as we usually do.  But on this particular night, I turned off my phone and placed them on the night table beside our bed.  I listened attentively as my children told me about their favorite animals and the toys they are currently saving up for. While I stared at their wide little eyes and the excited smiles on their faces, I remembered that childhood is fleeting. And with my gadget-free hands, I embraced my children and pray that they will always know how precious they are to me.

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