Being a parent is tough, and it’s often tempting to distract yourself from giant messes or little whiny voices with what’s happening in the outside world. But even if you’re not a parent, chances are you’ve probably been guilty of this one easy mistake, and probably more than once—paying more attention to your phone than what was happening in front of your face!
Brad Kearns, who runs the blog DaDMuM, recently shared a post on his blog’s Facebook page that hit home with a lot of parents.
“Don’t let your phone make you a [expletive] parent,” he wrote.
After discovering he was spending too much time on his phone, he gave himself a time-out.
Kearns wrote about how a month ago he was home alone with his two sons, when he noticed he had slumped into a terrible habit. Instead of enjoying the moment with his kids, he was on his phone, “trying to keep up with the world.”
His son Knox approached him and attempted to get his attention with a toy. It took a minute, but Kearns eventually responded with a half-interested, “Wow mate, that’s a cool one.” Knox wasn’t satisfied with his father’s response, so he continued to stand there.
“Eventually I looked up from my phone and said ‘Daddy’s busy mate, can you go and play with Finn.'” Kearns wrote. “He walked out of the room and began playing quietly in the other room with his brother. I continued scrolling. He came back in and the same thing happened.”
Kearns’ actions aren’t unlike other parents.
It finally clicked. Knox just wanted to spend time with his father.
“He was bored and he missed me and he just wanted my attention,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
According to the blogger, he hadn’t been able to spend time with his sons for the past two days due to work. He realized he was turning into “the dad I never wanted to be.”
He said enough is enough and put down his phone.
He put his phone down. He knew everything that was on his phone would be there when he came back to it. In that moment, his kids needed him, so he asked Knox if he could play with them.
“His entire face lit up. He said ‘sure’ and scooched over to make room for me next to him,” he wrote. “We played all day and I left my phone on the bench.”
Kearns wrapped up his post by apologizing for occasionally being absent. He wanted to spend more time with his children, and he realized that often it’s necessary to purposefully put down the phone to do that.