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Distracted Parenting? Guilty as Charged!

by | February 7, 2019

Being a parent has to be the single most stressful job I’ve ever had. Here I am with three tiny humans that I have to keep fed, clothed, bathed, stimulated and disciplined. I also happen to have two other jobs, you know, the kind that pays me for my efforts, so that I can, in turn, afford to live. Distracted parenting? I’m guilty as charged!

Distracted Parenting
By Zivica Kerkez/shutterstock

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Distracted Parenting? Guilty as Charged!

There’s a lot of judging and mom-shaming going on these days. People will stick their noses into your business and will judge the c**p out of you if you’re not parenting the way they do or the way they think you should.

There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about distracted parenting. What is that you ask? Basically, we’re all a**holes because we spend too much time on our phones and not enough time interacting with our kids. I am guilty as charged. I spend an excessive amount of time looking at a screen. Most of the time it’s for work, and I’m researching a story or reading the big vegan news of the day. I will admit though, that I do just zone out from my kids a lot of times and scroll through Facebook or Instagram for nothing other than pure brain-dead, effortless entertainment.

Sometimes, when you’ve been working from home all day you just need to switch off and tune out. My five year old knows how to use the smart tv to get all of her favorite YouTube videos on, and I am so thankful for that. I get down on the ground sometimes, albeit not as often as I probably should (would you look at that, I’ve just mom-shamed myself, ugh). I’ve found that I don’t have the patience or imagination to be able to play kid games. It’s like a punishment for me.

I remember when my daughter was a toddler, my partner had a huge problem with me letting her play on my phone. I wanted to get her an Ipad or some kind of tablet for her birthday, yet he was so adamantly against the idea. His reasoning was that kids these days don’t play enough, that they always have their faces stuck in a screen or playing a video game. I get it, I do, but my argument was that this is how it is now. It’s just the way of the world, and we either go along with it, or we get left behind.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, screen time is a way of life now and I’ve embraced it. It’s my job, my entertainment, my kid’s entertainment, heck my older kids even do their homework on a school-supplied tablet.

Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t neglect my kids so that I can see what the neighbors are tweeting about. I love a good cuddle as much as the next person and obviously, I feed them and make them take baths. Reading a story at bedtime might not happen every single night, but snuggling absolutely does!

Do you limit screen time in your home? Are you too guilty of distracted parenting? Tell us how you manage your family’s screen time in the comments below.

Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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