Can You Do This For 30 Minutes?

Can you do this for 30 minutes each day?

Hm, I wonder what I'm asking you about?

Well, I've seen some things happening, and we've been talking about this in my classes.

So, I wanted to bring it out to a wider audience.

It is very important for you, parents, and caregivers, to play and engage with your children.

This is a very normal thing to talk about but there is a difference to be truthfully, completely there when you're engaged with your child, when you converse with your child, play with them, engage with them, you are showing your child that you care, that you care about them and that you love them 'cause we know you do.

You are showing them that they are important to you.

In order for this to happen, you must be present.

That means, right here, in the moment, not what happened an hour ago, not what's going to happen next.

That means you are present with no distractions, just focusing on and noticing your child or listening to your teen and acknowledging that maybe they had a bad day.

Acknowledging, observing and noticing your toddler, that maybe they're building a building and they're knocking it down and they're building it up and they're knocking it down again.

Giving your 100%, undivided attention to your 6-year old and coloring with them.

And guess what? Not being distracted by your phone.

Do you think you could turn your phone off for 30 minutes and just engage with your child?

That's our challenge today and that's what we're talking about.

When you are looking at your screen, whether it be your phone, your tablet or your computer, your child feels less important, and that they don't matter.

That's pretty powerful.

Yes, I'm going to say it again.

When you are with your child and you're looking at your screen, your child feels less important and that they don't matter.

Think about that for a minute.

It's pretty impactful.

This has long term ramifications if it happens all the time.

And with a lot of us, it happens every day.

Our intentions are good, but I just want you to realize the ramifications it has.

Your child could end up with less self-confidence, less self-worth, less connection, and possible behavioral issues and challenges for you.

I want you to know, we love, love, love our families here at Thrive.

They are engaging in the arts, they are engaging with their children, and we've seen some of the most gorgeous, beautiful, loving connections with parents and children.

Maybe a mother and a father and a daughter, waiting for their son's lesson, and maybe they're here for 45 minutes and the three of them are together.

This is primetime for you to engage with each other, but instead, the father's on his phone. The mother's on her phone. And the young daughter has been given a tablet and she's watching a video or playing a game, and the full 45 minutes, barely a word is said.

You could be reading together.

You could be talking together.

You could be conversing together.

You could be playing a game together.

We do have families that bring books and coloring sheets and games with them to Thrive, and they're engaging together.

I just want you to think about this very precious time that you have, that truly could be uninterrupted that you could be engaging with your child.

You know what? I wanna put this out there.

Can we challenge you, can we please challenge you to put your phone away for 30 minutes?

Have some No Phone Zones.

I'll give you three ideas for No Phone Zones, and then I want you to put your ideas below. Let's see which ones get the most conversations going and get the most likes because you're going to have some great ideas.

  1. The car.

    You should not be answering the phone or reading texts in the car. You should be talking to your children. Play I, Spy. How many license plates do you see from different states? What do you see out the window? Oh, my goodness. There's so many things you could talk about. Play some music, sing along, have a fun family sing along. No Phone Zones are in the car.

  2. The dinner table.

    No electronics at the dinner table. Put them away, turn them off, you don't wanna hear a buzz, and if you're wearing an iWatch, turn it off. Focus on your children, what happened during their day, what was the funniest thing that happened in their day, what made them laugh? How were they helpful today? How did somebody else help them today? These are three great questions you could ask at the dinner table.

  3. Bath time, if you have little ones. Or, if you have older ones, that hour before bedtime.

    Spend some time talking to your child, read with them. When you put them to bed, just have time to talk to them, don't take your phone into their bedroom or the bathroom. Have some engaging one-on-one time with your child.

You are your child's most important teacher.

You.

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Not their teacher at school.

Not their preschool teacher.

You are the most important teacher your child has.

You are the one that needs to set the example for them, and you are the one that needs to make the extra time and extra effort to connect with them and be truly present because your child craves your undivided attention.

Forget gifts that are stuff.

Give your child your undivided attention, they will be the happiest they could be.

No matter if they're two years old or they're 18 years old, you are their most important teacher.

They desire your undivided attention.

That means electronics off.

You don't worry about what happened an hour ago, you don't worry about what's going to happen next, the project you have to do or what's gonna happen tomorrow, if somebody tries to reach you via your phone, guess what? They'll leave a message if you don't answer it.

When you're in the shower, I don't think you have your phone in there.

So, if somebody calls you when you're in the shower, you can call them back later. You don't have to look at emails. You'll survive.

Your child though, needs you right now, here and now, with them.

So, I challenge you. Can you turn your electronics off for 30 minutes today and be with your children?

I want to know how it goes.

I want to know how it feels to you and your child because my hope is that, tomorrow, it's 35 minutes, and the next day, it's 40 minutes, and the next days, it's 45.

Pretty soon, you're going to get used to having this one-on-one special time.

Put your ideas below. Where should you No Phone Zone be?

Can you turn it off?

How did it feel?

Let's hear from you.