I guess I have a couple thoughts on that, and it kind of actually relates to feeling more in control in your environment. In general, kids do better with things that are said than left unsaid. So when we’re on our phones all the time, we think, oh, I’m just going to do this to the side, I’m going to do this under the dinner table. They notice and they always notice and we want them to notice. I don’t know anyone who says, I hope my kid, when they get older, doesn’t notice the things in their environment. We don’t want to train them not to notice.
So just even saying, hey, I know this is a disruption and my work is different now than it used to be. And I know that’s hard on you. And I know I say not a lot of screen time for you and you see me doing it. Oh, what a mess. I’m going to finish this email and then I’m going to put my phone over there and at least be here for the next couple of minutes. That makes a huge difference because it also gives the kid a label to digest an experience versus having to make sense of it themselves.
I also think the other thing around our own screen time is we really underestimate the power of however many minutes, two minutes, five minutes, 15 minutes, saying to your kid, I want to have special time with you. And what that means is no screens, but I promise not for me either, because you’re right, we kind of tell ourselves and the people around us what’s important by our attention. Our attention tells us or tells people our values and what matters. And I think even 15 minutes, even if that feels too much for some parents two minutes, saying, my phone is away, it’s a crazy day for me at work, but I want to have at least two minutes of dedicated, no screen time for either of us and have that together. Kids really, really take that high quality time.