Yes, we’re all obsessed with our phones. And yes, I want to help you stop the social media madness! We and our kids are so darn busy posting things online to impress our friends, googling questions to find the answers instantaneously, and feverishly scrolling through Snapchat or lurking on Facebook that we keep our minds constantly stimulated. I have no magic solution for you. Instead I have a question: Why?
What are we all so busy distracting ourselves from? What are we trying to numb? I’d guess that we’re trying to avoid discomfort. The discomfort of silence, of being alone with our own thoughts, of making conversation with somebody instead. It’s the same for our girls. They want to avoid the awkwardness of walking out of school without a friend by their side to wait for a ride. (Browsing Instagram is so much easier!) The difficulty of sitting in the back seat of mom’s car on the way to practice as they listen to her questions. (Might as well text a friend to say hi!) When their feelings are hurt because another girl didn’t invite them to a sleepover but they don’t want to confront her about it. (Guess she should just stalk the Snapchat stories of her friends who are there!) Here’s the thing though: Growth, maturity, leadership skills, and ultimately confidence come from pushing through the hard stuff. Once we’re brave enough to experience discomfort, be alone, and try new things, we’ll realize that we can survive whatever happens. But we’ve got to be present so that we can actually feel the ups and downs of this roller coaster called life, even if it involves throwing up sometimes - metaphorically, of course!
My advice: Embrace the discomfort! And start talking about it ...
To better understand how your kids feel about this ask them why they pick up their phones in certain situations. Are they actually bored with nothing better to do? Or are they trying not to look alone, or tuning somebody out, or avoiding a difficult conversation? Then ask yourself why you do it and talk about it!