Technology a great servant but a terrible master.
It bings in your pocket and your reach to unlock it. It’s the 110th time you’ve looked at the screen completely unaware of the time that has been. You sit on the sofa with the love of your life sharing such limited time as husband and wife. You rest for a moment with that phone on the table but there’s that familiar itch can you resist, are you able?
So your baby’s on its way. What an amazing exciting understandably anxious time. You want to get everything right, make sure you are the best parent for your little one.
Time is precious. I cannot believe my first born has just turned 9!
Your bundle will come along and will be the most beautiful thing. You will have challenges and amazing adventures together.
They’ll be stinking nappies, exhausting nights, cheeky smiles, first words, first steps, potty moments (not in the potty moments!), feeding, first foods, cuddles, screams, tantrums, laughter, joy, achievements. And during all that time one of the biggest gifts you can give your beautiful child is presence.
Every time you pick up your phone you lose presence in that moment. When you add up the time you check your phone this is how much time you are losing presence in their childhood.
When you pick up your device you stop looking at everything around you. You stop listening. Constant alerts stop you missing out on what’s going on in the world but you miss out on everything happening right in front of you. You live a parallel existence where you are physically one place but mentally somewhere else. Friends, relatives and eventually your children are put on hold while you attend to another.
Children read parents’ faces and they will pick up that there is a stronger distraction for mummy and daddy’s time.
“And we see children deprived not only of words but of adults who will look them in the eye. Children’s inner wisdom is at work as they strain to make eye contact… From infancy, the foundations for emotional stability and social fluency are developed when children make eye contact and interact with active, engaged faces. Infants deprived of eye contact and facing a parent’s still face become agitated, then withdraw, then depressed. These days neuroscientists speculate that when parents caring for their children turn to their phones, they may effectively simulate a still-face paradigm”.
Sherry Turkle Reclaiming Conversation
Here are some comments from children within Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation, The Power of Talk in a Digital Age:
“when my mother is texting she can’t be reached”
“Daddy stop googling, I want to talk to you?”
“Trust… knowing that someone is not understanding you, not paying attention, makes it easy to lose trust… If someone was on their phone and not really in their conversation, I don’t feel like I can trusts them as much.”
“I’m going to raise my children the way my parents think they are raising me. Not the way they really are raising me”
The neuropeptide oxytocin is essential for well being and bonding. Eye contact, touch, responsiveness creates the feeling of connectedness which in turn releases oxytocin together with dopamine which strengthens bonding and feeling of security and safety. In simple terms they feel cared for. This connectedness creates a child who can feel empathy for others.
How can this recent device compete with this precious time? Companies such as google and facebook require you to engage in repetitive actions and because of the brain’s plastic nature this rewires your brain. You have now become the rat pressing the lever!
So what can you do about it?
The first thing is awareness. It may simply be enough for you to read this and make some decisions to put in a plan of action. The next thing is taking steps towards management of the technology.
I am here as a coach to assist you if you feel you need support in attaining your goal. For some you may feel a link to your phone for certain emotional reasons that need to be worked with before you can release your tether to the tech.
EMF Hygiene and reducing exposure to wireless radiation
When I talk about EMF Hygiene I mean to clean up/reduce your exposure to radio frequency microwave radiation and electrical fields.
There are some simple steps that will have a massive impact on wellbeing just by changing a few things such as:
- Putting your phone on airplane mode or off for longer periods of time. When it is on to keep it away from your bodies, perhaps on a window sill in a room that you are not spending the most time in.
- Keeping phones away from children, especially keeping it away from your baby during breastfeeding. Make the most of the time to connect with your child and to prevent exposing your baby to excess radiation at close proximity.
- Change your cordless phones for wired phones.
- Get the wifi turned off on your router (sometimes this is easy but sometimes such as BT routers you may think you have turned off but it can take 28 days due to hotspots)
- Use ethernet instead of wifi. You can use computers, phones, laptops, tablets and gaming devices with ethernet. There is no need for your child to be on a wireless device.
- Kill the Bluetooth. Use a wired controller for gaming. Use wires on any device you can.
- Remove baby monitors or any wireless devices from your children’s sleeping area.
- Pull your beds away from electrical sockets. Turn off any socket at night. Even better turn off upstairs ringmain at night.
There is more information on our resources page