No Phone Zone… Talk to Your Kid
Written by: Nancy Scorpio, LCSW
Sunday morning coffee, relaxing with my family, I hear a young boy yell out to his Dad “hey that’s mine”. As I look up I see the Dad has grabbed his son’ bagel and taken a bite. But what really has me staring is the fact that the Dad never once looked up from his phone. Bagel down, head down.
We see it all the time, and perhaps are guilty of this “crime”. What we don’t see are the lost opportunities of simple time spent with a child. This time becomes so much more important when we break it down as to how it can impact our children’s relationships, self-worth, intelligence and mental well-being.
Time not on our phone, but in direct contact with our child leads to:
We are teaching our children how to interact socially, how to communicate, how to appreciate simple things, a joke, a feeling, a mistake.
We are demonstrating the art of listening to what is being said, to show that it’s important, to show that no matter what is being shared you value the person and their words.
In this time of technology, we are losing the art of conversing. In a conversation with our child, we can give feedback, share ideas, challenge and build brain power. We can spark our kids to a higher level of thinking, thereby stimulating intelligence.
Perhaps the most important opportunity of all. Time spent in direct conversation with our child is an opportunity to build on what every parent tries to create, a deep love between the parent and child and the chance to strengthen the family bond.
As parents, opportunities come and go in a fleeting moment. We have one shot at trying our best to do it right. Before we know it, the opportunities are few and far between, and then lost all together. Let’s show our children why we have the chance, how important they are, how we value them before it’s too late. Before they pick us up from Assisted Living to go out for a coffee, and sit across from us with their head bent down on their phone.
Nancy Scorpio is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice at East Coast Mental Wellness in Providence, RI. She has been working with children and families for over 30 years. Her practice also includes work with couples and adults dealing with anxiety, depression and relationship issues. For further information or to make an appointment, contact 401-227-0372.