I’m going to keep this short and sweet today.

Moms and dads: We need to put down our iPhones {or other electronic devices} more often. Period.

I mention the iPhone as an example because it is a blessing and a curse to me.

I can get directions, find phone numbers, answer a million questions a day from curious kids, find the ingredient list for a recipe while I’m at the store, take pictures…

I really love my iPhone.

But I dislike how much time I waste on it. And I REALLY dislike how it distracts me from my children.

We HAVE to put down our smartphones or whatever other electronic devices are pulling us away from engaging with our children.

I don’t have any magic formulas or how-tos on breaking your iPhone addiction. The attraction is different for each of us. Maybe you need to identify those apps that are time-wasters and delete them. Time limits or “off-limits” periods during the day may be your solution. Just reorganizing your apps into categories might be helpful – Kat has some GREAT ideas for this on her site!

A few tips that I am still trying to follow myself?

1. Don’t talk to your kids while doing something on your iPhone. You may promise something you aren’t willing to follow through on!

2. Don’t let them try to talk to you while you are on our iPhone. Ask your child to hold that thought, quickly finish what you are doing, and give him or her your full attention.

3. Put your iPhone on the counter and walk away as much as you can during the day. It doesn’t HAVE to go everywhere in the house with you! Make sure you can hear it in case it rings, but otherwise, see how long you can go ignoring it completely!

4. Turn off notifications. This is one thing I did as SOON as I got my iPhone and it was one of the better choices I have made! I don’t need to know right away whenever someone mentions me on Facebook or Twitter.

5.  Never, ever get mad at your children or spouse for “interrupting” something you are doing on your iPhone. We have a firm rule for the children about not interrupting phone conversations, but texting or typing or playing a game just aren’t the same. I cannot think of anything I could be doing on my iPhone that would warrant me getting upset with my child for interrupting, yet somehow my irritation level rises to unhealthy heights when they do! I need to get those emotions and my priorities in check!

Please don’t read this post as being judgmental – I need this reminder as much or more than most of you! And I don’t want the strength of my family threatened by a little white {or black} electronic device!

Let’s find a way to step away from that iPhone and engage with those we love the most!


Family Tie #15: Identify the roots of your iPhone/smartphone/iPad/computer addiction and make a plan to break that bad habit! Try one or two or all of the suggestions in the post above or share in the comments what boundaries or limits have helped you put your family before your iPhone.


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