How many times have you talked on the phone and scrolled through Facebook at the same time, or watched T.V. and flipped through a magazine?
I will out myself if you will! I totally have!
Since I have been working hard to be more mindful day to day, I am much more aware of when my attention is divided, and I see how I simply do more poorly. When I am not fully engaged in what I am doing, I don’t get much out of it.
If you are like me, it takes real effort to mono-task because I have been multi-tasking for years, thinking I was doing something good.
Just imagine if we started doing one thing at a time, and being fully engaged in our experiences when we were young.
This is one case where we can know better, and do better by our kids. We can help them train their brains to focus on one thing at a time so they can get the most out of everything they do.
I usually create rules in my house when I see the necessity for them, like with technology. My older son recently got a phone, and I immediately noticed that he was playing on it while he watched TV. I saw an unhealthy pattern forming, and since I know how hard it is to break these patterns as an adult (first hand) I created a rule around it.
We now have a “one device at a time” rule. I am not against a bit of screen time each day, but my kids can’t be on more than one screen at a time.
There are other ways to practice doing one thing at a time like:
- have family dinners with no technology like the TV or phones at the table
- kids should do homework in a quiet environment without music or any devices near by
- kids can spend time reading without distractions
- take a family walk and leave all devices at home so you can enjoy the sites and sounds of nature
- have a family game night and put all cell phones on “do not disturb” (you can still get calls from your favorites list in case of an emergency)
- encourage kids at playdates to do something not involving technology like playing outside
- Your kids may think you aren’t cool, or you are a nag, and that’s OK! Our job isn’t to be buddies with our kids, it’s to help them grow into amazing adults.
Let me know in the comments how it goes in your house!