For me, this is a MAJOR temptation, especially since much of my WORK can be done on my phone (managing Facebook pages, responding to messages, etc.). The struggle is REAL, and I have had to set some parameters in place to help me check myself. Here are some ways I try to stay present even when my phone is near.
1) Plug my phone in at an outlet in another room at dinner time or put it face down on the table if I have a reason for needing it nearby. This ensures I am engaging with the family at dinner.
2) Leave the phone on the dining room table when I’m playing a game with my kids in the other room or when I’m helping with homework.
3) Leave my phone in my purse when we’re on an outing instead of keeping it in my hand or pocket.
These may seem overly-simple, but they have helped me to avoid the temptation as much as I can when I don’t have a LEGITIMATE need to be on my phone. And because I know I make an effort, to give myself grace when I DO legitimately need to be on it.
I often think about how my kids are growing up in a more complicated, difficult world than I did as a kid, and I think the inventions of the smartphone and social media and it’s trappings are huge reasons why. In articles I write here, I often focus on our needs to keep smartphones and social media away from our kids. That is still very important, but it’s equally important to not let smartphones and social media keep US away from our kids.
This is a very long, winding, two-way street, parents, and we need to drive it with EXTREME thought and caution.