Stay Away from ‘Distracted Parenting’ in today’s busy world

distracted parenting is bad- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Consider this… A mother and daughter are walking to a neighbourhood park. “Mama, why have so many leaves fallen from this tree?”.  Thrilled to hear such a thoughtful question from her daughter, the mother is about to begin telling her about how trees shed leaves in Autumn and the reason behind that and replies “oh that’s a very good question” but then her phone rings. Mother gets engrossed with the call, they reach the park and the child starts playing and the moment just slips.

distracted parenting is a no- Parenting resources by ZenParent

OR…  A father is reading a newspaper when his son comes to him to tell him how he hates going to school. Son starts saying “Daddy, the boy sitting behind me in school teases me about my specs”. The dad feels the need to address this issue and starts talking to his son, when his phone pings with a Whatsapp message, where the people in the apartment are discussing about the society meeting. Quite understandably, the father gets engrossed with the virtual discussions, son is watching TV and the matter slips the father’s mind till the next time the son will again, perhaps, discuss about it (or may be not).

The matter of concern here is the distractions being caused by the all-pervasive nature of technology and its infiltration in our lives, taking away precious moments we share with our children and family. Little bit of awareness and conscious effort is all it takes to not let distraction take over our lives and ensure that children get the attention and responsiveness they deserve.

Here are a few simple ways in which we can improve the time we spend with our kids:

1. Give children complete, undivided attention

While talking to children, playing with them and doing pretty much anything with them, make sure you give it all. Looking at the television or your phone or the computer while talking to them, will give them an impression that they are not important and can have serious implications on their personality.

how to get rid of distracted parenting- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Maintain direct eye contact with your child while you are talking to them. Touch them and hug them as often as you can to show them how important they are to you.

2. Make sure you always respond to children

Several times children have to repeat their questions a number of times with increasing pitch to get attention from their busy parents. This will frustrate them and lead to crankiness or bad behaviour.

A simple way to avoid this will require just a bit of thoughtfulness from your end. Make sure you always respond to children, to all their questions, all their silly actions, their needs and their requirements. Children crave for this and feel very content when they get it. Attention and response from parents keeps children emotionally satisfied, giving them opportunity to learn and grow happily.

3. Prioritise Matters

While spending time with children, make sure you keep aside your other commitments related to work, socialising, etc. That way people around you will also respect and get used to the fact that you don’t prefer to be disturbed while you are with your family.

Distracted parenting is bad for families- Parenting resources by ZenParent

4. Include your Child in your Matters

Set aside time for your other commitments and include your child in this. “I need to work from 9 to 11 am and while you play on your own with your toys. You can always call me if you need something” would be a good way to let your child understand your other responsibilities, while giving him the assurance that you are there for him.

5. Make up for lost opportunities

It is only normal to be disturbed by a distraction while doing things with kids. Such interruptions are normal and it is okay to respond to these. What is important is that we involve our child in this, excuse ourselves, just the way we expect them to, attend to the distraction and then get back to them. If there was an unanswered question or an unheard statement, bring it up and complete the discussion about it. Let the distraction not lead to lost moments with your kids. Say no to Distracted Parenting fully!

Image Source: via Google Images

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