What is Distracted Parenting and are you one who does that?
When it comes to the term distraction what we remember would be mostly our time as kids and how much we get distracted during our study time and the same might be repeating with our kids also. But we should now realize that the biggest distraction we ever have in our life is happening in our parenting and that too because of something we can never live without !
Mobiles, laptops, gadgets all have become a part of our life in such a way that we should actually consider it a part of our body .But the problem is when we are not ready to keep apart these things even when we are with our kids .
Before going into detail i want all of you to think about yourself as a parent and recall all the times when you have done the so called Multitasking -That means talking to your children and also checking your whatsapp, mails, social media pages etc. if being honest which was a priority for you? replying to your kids' query or the whatsapp message?
There is a Biscuit advertisement that really shows this concept -A father who is busy checking his mails and the daughter marks a paper as 'MAIL' and puts into her father’s lap so that at least then he would give his attention to her .This is what can be called a DISTRACTED PARENTING .
There would be many times that we have tried to do both together, be with our children and also be in the virtual world. That is exactly what distracted parenting is all about. We may or may not realize most of the time we will be present for our kids only physically. our mind and emotion all will be with the virtual world ,And that is why sometimes we get angry when kids keep on asking something and we are not able to respond either to them or to the Social Media things we are dealing with. Problem is not with the kids ,its with us Parents ,getting Distracted with the Screen
The Problem with the distracted parenting is that we don’t spend quality time with our children and also that we are making them also addicted to Gadgets and screen time .I myself was asked by my eight year old son that why should i put a control over his screen time when my husband, his pappa is watching mobile all time!
Moreover the concept of family time is being the least practiced in nuclear families. Be it dinner time, movie watching time or some idle time in one's bedroom with their own kids they are distracted with their virtual world .
The idle scene in a nuclear family is that both the parents sitting with mobile and laptops and kids with their own gadgets .Now with the online classes more time is being given to screen and we are forced to have a distracted teaching also!
What distracts parents ?
The use of gadgets have become so essential in our day to day life because of the following
- Work from home- The parents are having a tough time managing their work at home and gadgets are inevitable for that. Most of the companies expects their staff to be available round the clock and it is becoming tough to give some exclusive Kids time
- Online class of the kids-Now the situation is that parents have check after their work and also their kids school work, make them do that all in the virtual world
- For some ‘me time’ -being fed up with the current scenario of work from home, children's tantrum of not being able to go out ,and other problems like financial troubles parents tend to find some solace in the virtual world of Facebook, Instagram etc
- All day to day life –As most of us are not being able to go out everything from banking to paying bill is being done online and that contributes to our distraction from our kids time
And much more other reasons each parent goes through….
Where does distracted parenting come from?
- Breaking-The distracted parenting comes right from the time our kid was a baby. Many of us have or had the habit of texting or scrolling down our mobiles during breastfeeding our babies. Though there is no Google meaning for this word ,I think the concept is clear
- Teaching-In the current scenario we are using more of gadgets than books to teach our kids and it's always easy to slip into the virtual world of us
- Playing time-we cannot mostly sit without checking our mobiles for long.so even during a play time we go for our screen time may or may not consciously
What can be done to solve this issue of distracted parenting?
Some conscious effort has to be taken so as to get over this distracted parenting. Noting down a few
- Digital detoxification-Fix a time when you won’t use any screen time and spare that time with your kids. Longer the merrier!
- Off the notifications –Each notification is an invitation to the virtual world and thus distracts us from our time with kids .Off that, at least those of social media so that we are not automatically pulled into that world. we can check that when we are not with kids
- Share the responsibilities-Not only about the household works you can share the responsibility of your kids also with your partner or with someone else in the family. Responsibility of the kids includes spending quality time with them also. When one person is spending time with kids the other can have digital tour
- Keep the kid engaged –provide them with some board games so that they are not using a screen time and also get good entertainment.
- Strict ‘Family time’-Earlier we had at least our dinner time together, but now even then all of us would be having our mobiles also with us. A strict No to that. Keep your gadgets aside during your family time
All the parents who read this can add on more so that it would really help out other parents
We Should really rethink our such habit of distracted parenting and make sure when being with our children we are totally for them, to hear them, to cheer them and most importantly to make them feel they are the most important!
Our Chats and mails can wait , but the time lost is lost forever and a time will come when our children get more busy with their Gadgets and screen time ..
And now we can make a decision at least for an hour a day we will not go for a DISTRACTED PARENTING ! Will it be possible for you?
Ferin Ghani,is a media person for the last 13 years working with Television ,Radio, Social Media etc, Resident of kochi, Kerala she is married with 2 kids a Boy of 8 years and a girl of 4 years
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.