Hey Parents, Put Down Your Phones

Modeling healthy phone habits for our children can be challenging. Oftentimes, your phone is used for work, ordering groceries, checking the weather, nearly everything you do can be done on your phone. We are more connected now than we’ve ever been. However, all that connecting may be hurting your actual connection with your children and their ability to learn.

Here are 4 reasons to put down your phone:

  1. Positive feedback builds self-esteem. Children are constantly learning and they want to show you what they’ve learned. They thrive on your reaction. By responding with positive attention­ — a smile, a laugh, words of encouragement and affirmation — you are building their confidence and encouraging them to keep trying.
  2. Eye contact creates a stronger connection and emotional impact. This is especially important with babies. You can see a baby light up when you make eye contact and talk to them. That contact is vital to their brain growth and development.
  3. Talking to your child builds brain power. Children learn by watching and you set the example for what they’re picking up. Communication and social skills are developed through listening, talking, reading, singing and playing with their parents. That’s hard to do when you’re on the phone.
  4. Your child is your priority. When a child is competing for your time and attention, they can feel unimportant. Children learn how to interact with others and how to love others by watching their parents. It’s based on how their parents and caregivers love them, teach them, and encourage them.

So, what can you do as a parent to change your digital phone habits?

  • Designate tech-free times. Make it a daily habit that you do not use your phone for certain periods of time. For example, mealtimes, bath time, or even designate certain rooms as tech-free, like your child’s bedroom.
  • Plan tech-free outings. Quality time can create memories that will last a lifetime. Yes, you want to get that picture, but not every moment of every outing needs to be documented. Try to make some outings digital-free and be present in the moment.
  • Use technology effectively. There will be times that you have to be on your phone in front of your children. Include them in what you’re doing. Talk to them about what you’re doing, what you see, ask them questions about it. Create a dialog that shows them you care about them and they are more important than your phone.

Are You Concerned About Your Child’s Speech and Language Development?

Children’s Medical Center can help answer any questions you have, address any concerns and perform an assessment to evaluate your child’s development. Call us today to set schedule an appointment.

Palm Harbor (727) 787-6335

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