What Are You Teaching Your Kids When You're Glued To Your Phone?

62% of kids say that their parents don't pay attention to them because they are too busy on their cell phone. What do your kids think about you?

Recently, I have spent a lot of time noticing what parents do when they are with their kids. I have to say it's been a little disheartening. I have seen a lot of parents ignoring their kids when they are trying to talk to them, because they are too busy texting or doing something on their cell phone. What's ironic however, is that many parents (some of these same parents) complain that their kids are on their cell phones too much! All I want to say is, "No kidding! They are learning from you!"

According to Hightlight’s annual “State of the Kid” survey, kids are feeling brushed aside by cell phones more than any other distraction. After polling 1,521 boys and girls between the ages of 6 to 12, the researchers found that 62 percent of kids feel like their parents are distracted or focused on other things when they’re trying to talk to them. The main culprit? Cell phones.

If we can spend less time on our cell phones and more time living in the moment with our kids, we will:

  • Show our kids that they are important to us.
  • Teach them that it's important to show respect to the person you're with by not getting distracted by your phone until after you are done talking.
  • Teach them good communication skills when we ask questions, listen to their answers, and respond.
  • Help them to see how it's important to put cell phones away when talking with others, when eating a meal with others, and when in places where it's not appropriate to have a cell phone out (i.e., church, movie, school).

Last week, I was eating lunch with some people and it shocked to me to see that one of the moms was on her cell phone 98% of the time even though her daughter was sitting next to her and I was sitting across from her! Her daughter didn't have good conversation skills and seemed very awkward when trying to have a conversation with me. It just made me realize that it wasn't this girl's fault, but instead, that her mom was not doing a good job of teaching her how to communicate effectively, have nice table manners, or have polite social skills. Being a parent is a big responsibility, and our kids do learn so much by our behaviors.

What else do you think parents can do to be better role models for their kids? I would love to know what you think. Please leave a comment or email me at aimee@finesseworldwide.com.

For information about etiquette classes or videos and information on etiquette to share with your children, please visit my website at finesseworldwide.com.