I Don’t Want My Kids To Waste Their Lives Away on Cell Phones

Do you know what I wish I could do? 

Go a full day without looking at my phone, that's what. That's pathetic to admit, but it's the truth. I miss the days when I would just go to bed when I was tired, instead of succumbing to the temptation to scroll mindlessly. I miss the days when I could wake up and just start my day without checking my email before I'm even out of bed. I miss the times when I would rest and let my mind wander and be bored and watch the clouds and actually eat a meal without looking at a freaking screen.

I realize that I, like a lot of parents, have a problem with cell phones and phone addiction. I think my addiction started innocently enough, like a lot of moms. I was a stay-at-home mom who worked nights; I had young babies and toddlers at home with me and I was sleep-deprived and lonely and desperately wanted an escape from my own life. Social media plugged me into a bigger world around me. And, eventually, writing and blogging felt like it gave me purpose and connection and a fresh wave of motivation that I had been missing for so long. For the first time in a long time, I was excited to wake up and have something to “do,” like drafting a blog post or responding to an email, instead of just changing a diaper or cleaning my house (again). 

When something hard or trying happened during my day as a mom, I knew I could flip the switch on how I saw it, too. Sure, that diaper blowout was awful at the time. But those likes and comments from other moms when I posted about it made me see it in a new, hilarious light. I felt like in a lot of ways, my phone saved me from myself during that long and lonely season of early motherhood. 

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Now, however, my little lifesaver has gotten a little out of control. And my biggest fear is that I will pass my dirty little habit onto my kids.

cell phones
Image via Chaunie Brusie

I read a scary article the other day that talked about how wildly addictive our phones are to us. The brain, especially the developing brain of a child, responds to digital technology just like it responds to cocaine, which is so horrifying I can hardly think about it. 

I worry so much about how addictive phones can be, especially when my kids are preteens or teens who may feel a little lost. How tempting will it be for them to lose themselves in mindless scrolling every night when they've had a hard day at school? Or how difficult will it be to break them of the thought that everything needs to be captured and shared? Right now, I am the one shushing my kids as I scroll on my device–but how is it going to feel when they are the ones shunning me so they can gaze at a screen?

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It hurts just thinking about it and I'm terrified for the future but determined to be better. 

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Before it's too late. 

Do your children have cell phones? How do you help create healthy screen habits in your children? 

What do you think?

I Don’t Want My Kids To Waste Their Lives Away on Cell Phones

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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