My kids get agitated if I check my phone when I’m spending time with them. They’ll try and grab my phone and do other naughty things to distract me. My solution is to put the phone in another room and keep it away from all of us so I won’t be tempted.
Yesterday evening I was cleaning up the back garden. Raking leaves, sweeping away dirt and pulling weeds out of the gaps between the paving. It was pretty therapeutic work, I got some fresh air at the end of the day and helped me decompress after sitting behind a screen. I noticed that my kids were soon outside with me playing quietly together and not asking for my attention. They do the same thing if we go to the park on a Sunday afternoon and I bring a ball along to play some solo basketball. If I take my phone out, then their mood changes immediately. I think both gardening and basketball is about being with them in the moment and being present. They get it, and they give me space.
It’s a delicate balance sometimes. The kids get to pass the time with me, and I get to relax and decompress. The silent truce is that there’s no phone!
Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash