Being Dad Parenting

Are dads spending too much time on their phone?

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

We interviewed Dad’s Delicious Dinners to get his take on an issue dads are talking about.

Dad bloggers have banded together under #putyourphonesaway to shed sone light on the fact that parents are spending too much time on their phones and not enough time with their children.

We caught up with Ian from Dad’s Delicious Dinners and this is what he had to say about.

When did you realise you were on your phone too much?

It wasn’t really one thing in particular. However, during a recent camping trip when the mobile reception wasn’t great, I automatically became more active with the kids. Following the trip, I was writing a new article about camping with the kids and it suddenly dawned on me how much time I spend on my phone – and I was horrified. The article took a new direction and it was as I was finishing the edit that I noticed Nigel from DIY Daddy had been having similar thoughts. After a brief chat with him, it became apparent that we were not alone and perhaps it was a bigger issue with other parents too.

What are the warning signs of phone overuse?

This is a tough one and we will all think differently about it. The warning signs are there though. My phone used to be on constant charge because of over use and I even recall a time when one of the kids said, “When you finished looking at that, can you help me with this, please?” Hindsight is great but doesn’t help the now.

What can dads do to limit their screen time?

For me this is simple. When the kids are about, my phone now gets put on silent and chucked into the kitchen. I also keep it on silent when we are doing stuff as family, visiting the park or just hanging around together. I appreciate that this isn’t always possible for everyone. However, maybe try to dedicate some time each day and turn the phone off or put it in another room and when you out and about with the kids try not to be tempted with a sneaky peek at Facebook.

How does a dad’s phone overuse affect his children?

I am certainly no expert in kids psychology, apart from the obvious fact that you are not interacting with your kids when on your phone. For them it must feel like you are not interested in what they are saying or doing. What is so important that their question becomes secondary in your priorities?

Don’t get me wrong, phones have a place in all of our lives and I for one couldn’t live without mine. I’ve just learnt that I don’t have to constantly look at it. That email can wait, that social update will still be there later and when I am at the park with my daughter, playing and having fun is much better than seeing what my mate had for lunch.