Warning: What you’re about to read may trigger some guilt—especially if you suspect you may be a little too attached to your iPad.
A recent survey of over 6,000 kids (8-13) and parents across nine countries showed that 54% of kids felt parents checked their devices too often. And 36% said their biggest grievance was parents being distracted by their device during a conversation. Thirty-two percent said it made them feel unimportant.
Ugh. Does that make you feel yucky?
If so, you’re not alone. When asked about their device use during the same survey, 52% of all parents agreed that it was too frequent and many expressed worry about how this looked to the younger generation. Twenty-eight percent admitted to feeling like they didn’t set a good example for their children with their device use.
Both parents and kids feel the addictive pull of our devices and no one is feeling great about it. Neither kids or parents are benefiting from the digital intrusion in family life. But the main difference between you and your kid being connected all the time is, you actually need to be on yours, right? For work. If it’s part of your job to stay connected, then you doing due diligence on your device deserves a pass sometimes. Right?
On this, Emma Waverman makes a good point in Canadian Business: “I’m willing to give myself some leeway: Part of my job is to stay connected, and sometimes I really am reading an important email or doing research for a story. But I have to remind myself that my kids don’t know the difference.”
Giving yourself some leeway is an important part of keeping the peace at home—and also at work. But at the end of the day, work is work and home is home and maintaining that separation is also an important part of keeping the peace. And the balance in your life.
Waverman explains how she keeps it real when it comes work-life balance: “Figuring out how to balance our connected lives and our family lives is a work in progress at my house. Some days I think I’m doing an okay job at it, but some days I know I’m not. Maybe I should find out what my kids think—and be ready for their answers.”
Hear, hear. Open communication is, in this matter as with any other family issues, key. Putting down the phone and talking to each other—regardless of how often our phone is in our hand—that’s what’ll keep everyone feeling happy, heard and hopefully, important.
Do you give your kids screen time limits? Do you try to follow any yourself?