Keep the Phone Down, Mom and Dad!
Submitted by Parul Bahl
The other day I went to the park with my 11 month old son who insists on getting out of the house every day without fail at 5 :30 PM sharp. While he was attempting to slide down the slide on his own and I was trying my level best to convince him that he is too small for such a stunt, I saw a young boy he would be 4 or 5 at best.
He was a cute little boy with big brown innocent eyes. What I saw, melted my heart. He was asking his father to play ball with him while his father was busy checking his phone. He tried to coax his father by calling out to him 2-3 times but failed. His father refused to look up from his phone and muttered a curt “Yes I am coming give me 5 minutes please”. His father had a troubled look on his face and was glued to the phone typing away furiously. The little boy finally gave up and stood there staring helplessly at his father.
The sight was so heart breaking. It got me thinking how important it is to be fully present mentally and physically while spending time with one’s child. Many a times we feel we have fulfilled our duties as parents by taking the kids to the park or to the mall. But have we really? Can you say with utmost surety that you were 100% mentally present when spending time with your child? Well, I can’t commit to that and I know most of us can’t.
There’s something always in the back of our minds –that mail that I need to send as soon as I get back ,pending grocery shopping ,did I switch of the gas??Our minds are always working in overdrive .We strive to be 100% present but there are just too many distractions! I thought of possible ways to be more mindful and this is what I came up with. Every time I take my son out for a stroll now I keep my phone on silent or vibrate mood. I make it a point to resist the urge to check my Whatsapp or mails, sounds tough but it isn’t! Try it sometime
I also try and get involved in his play time. We play with his toys and enjoy laughing together on our mutual silliness. Lastly, I also ensure that I leave work where it should be left that is at the office! Once I am home I am home. The pending work, the politics, the futile tensions can take a hike because I feel they are immaterial in front of my child’s smile! If I have pending work I it pick when after I have put him down for the day.
We all are surrounded by so much work to do. There’s always something that is pending or needs immediate attention. However, our kids are the reason we work so hard. Most of us are working parents and hardly get to spend time with the kids. It’s really not about spending hours and hours with the child it’s about how to make the most of it! So next time when you spend time with your child, don’t just spend time, spend some Quality time !
Parul is a working mother of an eleven-month-old boy. She loves reading and writing. She is an HR professional and soft skills trainer. In her spare time, she loves blogging and baking.