Tech Tales & Tips: Digital Role ModelFeb 03, 2018
Vanessa is a working mother who uses her laptop and smartphone to conduct business when she’s at home. In between giving her children a bath and preparing dinner, she can often be found skimming her emails on her smartphone or checking the news alerts for updates impacting her business. If she is under a deadline, she may even set-up her laptop in the kitchen and work a bit while waiting to pull a roast out of the oven.
Vanessa thought she had a handle on it all, juggling work and home life in admirable fashion, until she overheard her children one evening:
“We can’t ask mom, she’s on the computer again.”
“She’s always working. She never wants to play with us.”
“Let’s hide her smartphone.”
And the guilt sets in.
. . .
You and I both know that Vanessa is by no means a bad mother. She is just like you and me, trying to make it all work. She reminds me of that Enjoli commercial from the 80’s: She’s bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan . . . ( We’ll leave her husband out of the tale for the moment.)
How can Vanessa alleviate her guilt and be a better digital role model for her children?
- Make a schedule. If you make a schedule and stick to it, you’ll feel relief knowing that you got your work done during work time and were able to be 100% with your family during family time. It can be tricky to stick with it, but you and your children will be the winners.
- Disconnect (or digital detox) for a given period every evening. Between 18.00-20.00, turn off the smartphone and step away from the computer. You are setting screen limits for yourself and your children will learn from your good habits.
- Dinner-time without tech. No smartphones or other tech at the dinner table. Enjoy your dinner with family conversation. (Hey, you can bring back that Walton style dinner where everyone shares and talks about their day.)
- Kids in bed, pull out the tech. Sure your children are taken care of, but now you have to deal with your partner. Your call.
What works in your house? Please send in your stories and comments. I would love to hear from you!
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