Attention: Are we giving our kids enough?
posted by: Guest Blogger
When it comes to relationships, the most important thing one must bring to the table is one’s attention. Our attention is a precious gift that we decide to give or withhold from others.
In an app-development class, 4th to 7th graders were asked to define a problem and then come up with an app that offers a solution. Students often brought up two main issues:
- They often felt ignored by their parents who were distracted by screens.
- Kids would often walk into their parent’s rooms and hear or see inappropriate content on their parents’ TVs.
To solve the issue, the kids came up with the idea of a voice-recognition app that would temporarily freeze their parents’ phones whenever the child’s voice is detected. To combat seeing inappropriate content, mostly on TV after bedtime, the kids proposed an app named “Earmuffs App.” The app would sense when a kid came into the room and then would mute swear words and switch the adult content from the TV to a hideable phone or tablet.
So often we want our children to get off of their phones. But what if our kids want us to get off of our phones? I’m sure you’ve heard “mom, mom, mom “ while you’re reading an email, checking a text or reading an article. Our phones have become such a part of our daily lives that we often don’t realize how much we are using them. But, our kids know.
For this week’s TTT let’s turn the focus away from our kids’ use of technology and put it on our own. Let’s get our kids’ or partners’ attention with questions like these:
- What are some of the best ways I give you my attention?
- Do you find that I’m on my phone, tablet or laptop when you want my attention?
- What are ways you can tell that I am only half paying attention?
-Delaney Ruston, filmmaker of Screenagers
To help kids avoid unhealthy screen time, the creator of the Screenagers movie has found that having weekly, short calm conversations with kids is key. So, each “Tech Talk Tuesday, they email you conversation starters about social media, research, tech tips and much more to incite a dynamic conversation with your kids or students. Go here to sign up screenagersmovie.com.