Five tips to help keep your own phone use under control, so your kids feel like they are more important to you than your phone:
- Arrange the apps on your phone so that the things you get sucked into most easily are harder to get to. It’s like a speed bump; gives you a moment to resist the impulse.
- Set your screen to black and white. Color in design drives a lot of compulsive use, and getting rid of it can help.
- Adopt the habit of narrating what you are doing on your phone, if your child is present with you and you use your phone. Whatever it is you are doing, verbalize it. This helps you stay mindful of what you do in their presence. Because when you don’t…
- You are conducting the “still face experiment” with your child multiple times a day, when you disappear into your phone. Not a good foundation for their mental health and emotional security. She this video to understand the experiment. :
- Make sure you designate time each day that is for YOU and your replenishment. Whether that’s being able to go for a run, take a bath, meditate, do yoga, work out… whatever it is that is NOT phone time, not work or chore time, and not kid time that allows you to breathe and let it all go for a little bit. Do that. Prioritize it. We generally reach for our phones more when we are depleted and need a fix of dopamine, or to numb or escape for a minute, and less when we already feel good. But it’s like eating junk food doesn’t really give your body the nutrition it needs, mindless scrolling and playing doesn’t give your mind and heart what they need.
(Also, you’re not alone. The *majority* of parents have the saaaaaaaaaame struggle. You’re a step ahead just by seeing it.)