I wonder how my kids would have rated me in a recent large study. Would I have cringed at their answers?
The survey was about what kids really wanted their parents to know. After surveying 6,000 children, researchers found that:
- 54 percent said their parents checked their phones too often
- 36 percent said their parents’ worst habit was getting distracted by their phones in the midst of a conversation
- 32 percent said this behavior made them feel unimportant
If your child was asked the following questions, how do you think he or she would answer?
Does your parent check his or her phone too often?
What’s your parent’s worst habit?
Do you ever feel unimportant compared to your parent’s phone or computer?
The survey found that we as parents are quick to confess:
- 52 percent admitted they check their phones too frequently
- 28 percent said they do not set a good example when it comes to cellphone use
How we use our phones not only serves as a model to our children, it can hinder close relationships if we’re not careful. I think it’s a great idea to ask your kids one-on-one questions. Take your own home survey. Your findings will represent your most important constituents: your children.
Take a walk around the block and ask:
Do you think I check my phone too much?
What’s my worst habit?
Is there anything I do that makes you feel unimportant?
Am I spending enough time with you?
Listen to your child’s answers calmly. Don’t rush to defend yourself or argue with their thinking. Just listen. (You probably want to pray for God’s wisdom before starting this conversation as well).
Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life and Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right. Learn more at ArlenePellicane.com.