Dear Self: Look Away From the Screen

Dear Self,

Before you pick up your phone one more time to check whatever it is you think you need to check, stop. Look away from the screen. There are three little faces nearby, watching. Absorbing. There is no move you make that is lost on them. Always observing. Gauging their own importance to you. How often are you staring at a screen? How often are you looking into their eyes?

Before you pick up your phone again or open up your laptop (“just real quick”), remember this. God put you in charge of governing these three precious young lives. What do you want them to remember when they’re grown? That Mommy was always staring at her phone? That Mommy was disengaged when they were ready and willing to engage? Their willingness is not indefinite. Choose carefully how you spend your time.

And when they have families of their own.  When they’re parents, will they stand in the corner staring at their phone because that’s what parents do? Or will they look into their eager children’s eyes and ask questions about their day, truly ready to listen to the answers, because that’s what parents do? What are you modeling?

Before you go off (again) on how much you actually hate technology and how addictive it is, remember this—it’s not inherently bad. Like guns. Or painkillers. It’s all in how you use it.

You have the power to set aside specified chunks of time during the day to do whatever business you need to do online. That’s being responsible. Do it.

Grabbing your phone every time you see it or think about it—that’s irresponsible. Fight the urge and you won’t regret it.

Two daughters and a son. The way their minds are wired. The warmth and presence they feel from you. Their view of parenting as they grow. Their view of God. That’s what’s at stake here. Yes, the stakes are quite high.

Don’t just let each day happen as if it’s beyond your control to make a change. Be proactive. Make a plan. Be deliberate about the time you have left with your children. Just like all the parents with grown children have ever said to you, “one day you’ll blink and they’ll be gone.”

You don’t have time to think it all through and make a plan, you say? I would venture to answer that you don’t have time not to.



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