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What next? #putyourphonesaway

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Fatherhood

What next? #putyourphonesaway

dad on mobile phone with laptop in front of him

A couple of weeks ago I published an article about a recent camping trip and what it taught me. If you haven’t had the time to read the article yet –  We had a great time, the kids got muddy and ran around a little feral until they got hungry and I came to realise that I spend to much time on my phone and not enough time running feral with the kids.

Coincidently, two other parent bloggers had the similar thoughts around the same time. Nigel over at DIYdad on phone Daddy and Tayla at Motherhood the real deal both posted similar articles.

Following a quick chat with Nigel, we decided to work together and work on the hashtag #putyourphonesaway

The next few days were a flurry with beeps and alerts coming from my social media and it appears we had touched a nerve with a number of people. My article was shared and read by so many people. I received emails of support and lots of complimentary comments and messages. The other two posts were meet with the same esteem.

It wasn’t just the three of us either. FQ magazine picked up on #putyourphonesaway and following an interview, they ran a  article on the topic. thedadsnet also noticed the speed with which the hashtag was gaining popularity and also added some words on the subject.

On a personal level, true to my word. As soon as the kids were home from school, my phone was placed on silent and plonked in the kitchen. It felt amazing. I was free. It really benefited my time with the kids and we had so much more fun at the park, watching tv together and playing games.

What next?

For me it is simple, if the kids are around my phone isn’t. I appreciate that there will be times it is needed, especially around homework time.

‘hey Siri what the hell is a prepositional phrase’

But as a general rule, the phone heads to kitchen as soon as we are back from the afternoon school run.

I have also discovered the screen time app. With the intention of overall monitoring of my phone usage, I plan to look at how and where I can cull it.

It has also been interesting reading other parents takes on the subject. It isn’t always about the adults and phones. We should be looking at the kids use too. Especially around social media. John over at DadblogUK has broached this subject recently. He has a daughter who is keen to join Instagram and Snapchat because her friends are all on it. We as parents have a huge responsibility and are facing an unseen before challenge. In short we are learning on the job.

If you skip back a generation. My parents only had 3 TV channels to contend with. Channel 4 came along and that was it. My TV channel choosing rights had been fully revoked. Growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s my idea of a phone was a big red thing with a dial,  attached to the wall on a little table in hall. Now fast forward a few years and our kids have a mini super computer in their pocket.

We need to stick together, not only are we all learning about these apps and social media channels. Our mobile phone to use social mediakids are also keen to explore.

It was interesting to see that one of my Facebook followers actually saw another parent let their two year old use a phone to keep them entertained during a sports day. Has this magic little super computer also become super nanny? This is an emotive subject and one that I will delve into in more depth in another article. For now it is about my usage.

For the sake of simplicity, from now on, I intend to lead by example. #putyourphonesaway

If you have enjoyed reading this and if you want to read more about my quirky way of seeing things, please go and check out my other posts. If you want something tasty, cheap and healthy to feed the troops, make sure you go and take a look at the latest recipes. 

You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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My Random Musings

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Part time Gardener | Part time Blogger | Dad

(3) Comments

  1. Thanks for the mention Ian. This is, as far as I am concerned, THE parenting challenge for our generation. No other parents have had to handle the online world and it is very difficult. As a blogger who makes money being online, I am online a lot but I am actually quite disciplined with my phone, more so than many might realise! I’m also regulating my use more. It is about keeping my own habits in check and encouraging good habits in my kids. Great post.

  2. I don’t have kids but I’ve just got back from a week away where I made a conscious effort to minimise my phone/tech usage… except for Maps – my sense of direction is terrible! I feel so much more refreshed than I’ve done in a long time. It really does the world of good!

  3. I love that you have taken on the parenting challenge #,anythinggoes@_,karendennis

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