Parents, (for Your Kid's Sake) Put Down Your Phones! And be a Better Parent.


“We get such a limited amount of time with our kids in the day, we need meaningful conversations.”


I read this statement in an article about parents and their cell phone usage while around their children. The person quoted in the article said that parents spend an average of 11 hours a day on electronic devices. That is staggering, and sobering when I consider my own screen time usage. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Watch ESPN, 2048 – these are just a smattering of the apps soaking up my time and deteriorating my eyeballs.

I’ve found, some days more than others, that there is a strong draw in me to just veg out and kill time staring at my iPhone. I do it on the coach, I do it at the table, I do it on the toilet. TMI right?

The truth is, I spend too much time with my head buried in an iWorld.

The kids have called me out on it. Can you keep a secret? They may have mentioned it to their momma too. They say, “Dad, why are you always staring at your phone?” Then I look up from my phone and correct them, “I am not always staring at my phone.” Then my head goes back down and I hit “like” at that funny cat (or baby, or cartoon) picture on Facebook.

I thought about it once. How weird it would be to think of my own father playing Candy Crush instead of working on his semi-truck out in his shop. Or how odd it would be to see my mother cruising Pinterest instead of making us a healthy dinner? Between retweets and real-time ESPN score notifications I am convicted. I won’t get this time with my kids back. This is my only shot to see their cute smiles, hear their giggles and help them learn to write, draw, throw, and ride.

I can always download a new app from my ‘cloud’ but I can’t ever download a new childhood experience for my kids.

So, I’m going to work on it. Maybe I’ll lock up my phone and throw away the key. Or better yet, I’ll remind myself that Jesus will never what Candy Crush level I’m on or how many Twitter followers I have. Rather he’ll want to know, what kind of a job I did loving, raising, teaching, cherishing, and investing in the three treasures he’s entrusted to my care.