"Mom, I'm bored!" My daughter tugs at my arm. I silently pass her my smartphone.
Whenever an errand or a social situation is even slightly boring, my kids look for my phone. Compared to the finger-swiping thrills of Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds, the real world just isn't all that interesting.
So I'm trying to wean my kids off of their "e-pacifier." Lately that means telling interesting little stories about people we visit, giving them something to talk about, or finding ways they can help when I need to run an errand or buy groceries. I also show them my less busy, people-focused side by not being tethered to my phone as often. That way, I can help my kids face boring or awkward situations head on.
It's still sometimes tempting to use the phone as a distraction, but minimizing its use can help my children develop a healthier relationship with technology — and with other people.
This article appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Esther Feng.
Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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