If you are holding your phone or any other gadget while looking after your child, this article is for you!
Initially, we thought nothing of this habit. Then came adversaries as this takes away precious attention from the child. The child then, feels neglected or worse, unloved. It affects them emotionally.
Now, new studies emphasize that there is a that this habit can have impact to the child’s brain development. Brain Development!!!
“What we are proposing is that there is a sensitive period in which maternal care needs to provide consistent patterns and sequences of behavior so the baby’s brain can perceive them to develop normally emotionally. The predictability of maternal care seems to engage the pleasure system, and the pleasure system needs to be engaged so the neurons involved will fire together and then will wire together,” – Dr. Tallie Baram, professor of pediatrics and anatomy-neurobiology at University of California, Irvine
While this was a study conducted on rats (like many other studies in the fields of medicine and the social sciences), it is agreeable that we learn via patterns of behaviour. It is also agreeable how predictability of maternal (and if I may say, parental) care satisfies our basic need to feel safe and protected, not to mention loved.
This is enough call to action for me.
Photo from this article on the news around Toronto School’s Cell Phone Policy changes.
Some time ago, I started putting my phone away when attending to my daughter, during mealtime with my husband, spending time with my parents, etc. However, I would say that I am not yet 100% when it comes to not being distracted by the mobile phone. But I have to do something about it.
We have to so something about it.
I invite you to join me in the “No To Distracted Parenting 30-Day Challenge”.
Let’s start tomorrow, the 1st of October til the 30th. If you are reading this a bit later, feel free to begin anyway. It’s never too late to start, especially if you have infants or toddlers. Even if you are not a parent or do not have kids anymore, you can also participate. It is good habit to pay attention to people in general.
What will we do?
For the next 30 days, we will pay attention to our actions to ensure that we pay full and close attention to people and especially to our children.
Why 30 days?
The old belief was that people are able make new habits or break a bad one in a period of 21 days. That is highly depending on the complexity of the behavior. It can be between 18 days to 254 days, also depending on the person, surrounding circumstances and the habit to break. You can read more here in sciencealert.com. I think that 30 days is a good starting point.
How will we monitor our progress?
If you have known me for quite a while, you know how I love to put systems in place or maximize existing ones when necessary. That said, we’ll have a very simple monitoring sheet that I will create and share. Up to you how you wish to use it but best practice when it comes to monitoring is to keep it visible for not just you but for others to see. It is a concept that I’d like to borrow from the Operational Excellence principles. Also best for you to have a partner to help cheer you on so you keep to it!
Who are covered?
We will cover all human (or for pet parents, including pets) interactions. These interactions should not be distracted in any way by the mobile phone or any gadget. I know our focus is parenting and our kids but hey, behaviors are patterns. Thus it has to be a pattern of behavior when we engage in interactions. Exceptions would be in cases of emergencies or extreme importance. But, it rarely happens, right?
Oh, I’m super excited to begin this journey with you. It starts tomorrow and the first 30-days will be tough, I can already fee it, but it will be worth our focus and discipline! After all, it’s for the healthy development of our children (and healthy relationships, too!).
What are your thoughts on distracted parenting? Comment in the box below.
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Thanks for visiting and come back again tomorrow for more on parenting.