We joke about it. We talk angrily about it. We complain about it. And, yet, we still allow ourselves to be controlled by it. Technology may make our lives simpler, but it also consumes more of our time. And time is something most mothers want more of.
It is a challenge to be a mindfully driven mother living in the midst of technological advances. We – and even more so our children – are accustomed to being interrupted, distracted, available, and driven by technology.
We are one of Pavlov’s dogs conditioned not to ignore the dings announcing new messages, an appointment, or an incoming call. Stimulus – response. Stimulus – response. We are overloading our lives and ourselves as we create environments of short attention and distraction.
Here are some questions I invite you to ask yourself:
Are you engaged in a text conversation while you are “listening” to your child?
Do you tell your child to “wait a minute” while you “just take this call”?
Are you checking your email while you are helping your children with their homework?
Do you know how much time you spend on the computer, checking email, or texting friends each day?
Do you check your email, phone calls, and text messages the second you walk out of a meeting, drop your son off at soccer, or put your children to sleep for the night?
How much time do you spend looking at your phone when you are with your children and you could be spending time with them?
If the above questions are giving you pause – good. I’m glad. Here are some further thoughts to consider:
What are your values around your family’s use of technology?
How do those values (family and technology) coexist?
Does your behavior fit your values?
If your children exhibit the same tech habits as you do, will you be pleased or disappointed?
Are you modeling what you want your children to learn?
Habits are difficult to break. They say it takes twenty-eight days to establish new patterns of behavior. Turning off our cell phones and computers is a serious challenge. While technology allows us to connect more remotely and more quickly with others, it also impacts the presence we have with our children. The challenge to avoid an automatic life becomes easier when we keep our children and their futures in mind.