Ring the alarm: The Phone is on

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I’m calling it CPADD – cell phone attention deficit disorder and I’m guilty of it. Are you?

I like to think I am pretty good at being present. I’m a good listener. I can shut the world out and focus on a task. I play with my son. I do yoga. I read. Books and articles start to end. I do breathing exercises while sitting in heinous traffic jams.

So why can’t I put down the phone when I’m at home? Why do I need to bring it to the park? It has a camera right? For safety, ah ha. Why do I need to have my phone in my line of vision for 80% of my day?

Great ideas for putting the phone down and being present with your kids.

 

In my city, using a cell phone while driving is illegal. Distracted driving comes with a fine of $400, a potential court fee, a potential fine of $1000 if you receive a summons or fight your ticket and three demerit points applied to your driver’s record (we have a total of 6 points). Our governing bodies have had to police hand held use in vehicles yet every day you can see people using their phones in their car. What is it about our nature to want to be everywhere all the time? Why do we feel the need to respond to emails/texts/call immediately? What is it about the present that is so daunting that we need to escape it?

Something that resonates with me from my travels in Northern Canada is the idea of sitting silence. To paraphrase a dear friend of mine, Paul Andrew, “learning to sit in silence and be with yourself is a great challenge, but offers great rewards.”

We all have tasks and needs that require our attention, of course. But since I’m not in a profession that demand that I be ‘on call’, why can’t I put away my phone when I’m parenting my son? Why can’t I be present in extended moments of time with the people I’m closest to?

Since I’m the only one who can change my CPADD as I’ve yet to hear of a law for distracted parenting, I’m putting myself on a challenge and calling out to others who want to join me in opening even just a small part of the day to be cell-phone free. There’s a basket that sits in our front hallway that acts as a catch all for keys, mail, lip balm, sunglasses. And it’s now officially been made my free zone. The place where I drop my phone when I get home that allows for two things: one, my phone has a place to be out of my sight and reach and two, I can be present with my family for the precious hours in the day we have together.

It’s a challenge, for sure. But just when the urge to reach out and see what is going on ‘out there’ creeps in, I tune in to a softer inner voice, that of Paul reminding me of the rewards to sitting silence. Of being present, of parenting as best I can, in play and in guiding, in the sound of wind or music or laughter and tears in the playground or at home that need nothing more then my acknowledgment and being. Hands free.

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15 comments

  1. Bianca says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I was just having a serious conversation with my hubby about this. We are having our second baby, and now we feel like this time is so precious with our daughter that we need to slow down and put the phones away as much as possible.

  2. I too struggle with CPADD! It’s a tough thing to overcome but I agree with you, some moment need to be enjoyed phone free. Some days I’ll plug in my phone in my room and close the door. It’s much easier to forget about it when it’s out of sight! Great post!

  3. Ally Fiesta says:

    I felt the EXACT same way about my phone with my husband. I decided to plug in our phones in a separate room so we don’t go to sleep to our or phones or wake up to them. I also know that the lights that come from out phones prevents us from getting solid sleep as well. You have a great idea as well!

  4. Kristy says:

    I’ve struggled with this too. If my phone is in sight, I find that I check it more often.

    Out of curiosity, does your city still permit the use of Google/Other maps while driving? Or checking traffic reports by phone?

  5. thenavynest says:

    I seriously love this. Just the other day I was thinking to myself that I want to put away my phone at nights after work and be present. I have yet to do it, but after reading this…Challenge accepted! I’m going to work on it. :)

  6. I am lucky I don’t have cell coverage. I only use my cell for Instagram and I try to do that only 1-2 a day. My kids notice when I don’t. When you get off your phone you will notice how many people are on theirs. Distracted as their immediate world is passing before their very eyes. Live in the moment and you will not forget it. I wish you the best with this.

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