How to miss a childhood: The dangers of paying more attention to your cell phone than your children

By Rachel Macy Stafford

For Hands Free Mama

Published: Monday, May 14 2012 9:00 a.m. MDT

If you find this recipe difficult to read if you find that you have tears in your eyes, I thank you, and your child thanks you.

It is not easy to consider the possibility that the distractions of the modern age have taken an undeserved priority over the people who matter in your life. In fact, when I admitted this difficult truth to myself almost two years ago, I experienced an emotional breakdown. However, that breakdown became a breakthrough that propelled me to begin my life-changing Hands Free journey.

Heres the thing: You dont have to follow the above recipe. Yes, it is the 21st century. Yes, the whole world is online. Yes, the communications for your job are important. Yes, at times you must be readily available. But despite all those factors, you do not have to sacrifice your childs childhood; nor do you have to sacrifice your life.

May I recommend this recipe instead?

How to Grasp a Childhood:

Look into her eyes when she speaks to you. Your uninterrupted gaze is love to your child.

Take time to be with him really be with him by giving your full attention. The gift of your total presence is love to your child.

Hold his hand, rub her back, and smooth his hair. Your gentle touch is love to your child.

Greet her like you missed her when she was not in your presence. Seeing your face light up when you see her is love to your child.

Play with him. Your involvement in his activities is love to your child.

Set an example of being distraction-free while driving. Positive role modeling behind the wheel is love (and safety) to your child.

Create a distraction-free daily ritual. Consistently making him a priority each day is love to your child.

Talk to him. Ask him about his day. Listening to what he has to say is love to your child.

Focus and smile at her from the stands or the audience. Seeing the joy on your face as you watch is love to your child.

The recipe for How to Grasp a Childhood requires only one thing: You must put down your phone. Whether it is for ten minutes, two hours, or an entire Saturday, beautiful human connection, memory making, and parent-child bonding can occur every single time you let go of distraction to grasp what really matters.

The beautiful, life-changing results of your Hands Free action can start today right now the moment you put down the phone.

Related article: Going off the grid: Living in the moment

You can follow this Hands Free Mama and her revolutionary approach to letting go and living life by joining The Hands Free Revolution on Facebook or through her blog at

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