Basically it was her telling me to get off my phone and pay attention to our family! While I tried to justify my actions because I mainly read articles on my phone (in other words I could understand her frustration if I was playing games all the time), she was right.
I want my two daughters to know their father as someone who will pay attention to them instead of stare at a brilliantly lit glass square that emits light, text and graphics all the time.
So here are our “technology boundaries”:
During weekdays, we cannot read, look, or interact with our phones after the girls wake up in the morning (usually around 7am for us) and before the girls go to bed (usually around 8pm for us). Yep, when the girls are awake, the goal is to pay attention to them. This doesn’t mean we can’t take a phone call, or look something up real quick. But it does mean that we set the tech device down (this includes laptop computers) and play with our children.
On the weekends, we allow ourselves around one hour of pursuing, reading, interacting, emailing, etc. per day. This can happen all at once or interspersed throughout the day. The intent is to give more leeway to read leisurely, while still being attentive to our family.
So far, this has been a great discipline for me. I definitely goof off with my girls a whole lot more than I did, which is good. However, I have not been able to keep up with the amount of reading I used to do on blogs and such. My Google Reader unread count is growing daily and I’m unable to keep up.
Oh well… blogs lose, but my kids win!
A great related article: Jesus Stole My Daddy…
So what about you? Are technology devices running your life or are you running it? Do your kids suffer from your inattention because technology takes your attention?