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

Lose your temper with your child when he "bothers" you while you are interacting with your hand-held electronic device.

Give an exasperated sigh when your child asks you to push her on the swing. Cant she see you're busy?

Use drive time to call other people regardless of the fact you could be talking to your kids about their day or about their worries, their fears, or their dreams.

Read email and text messages at stoplights. Then tell yourself that when your kids are old enough to drive they wont remember you did this all the time.

Have the phone to your ear when she gets in or out of the car. Convince yourself a loving hello or goodbye is highly overrated.

Follow this recipe and you will have:

Missed opportunities for human connection

Fewer chances to create beautiful memories

Lack of connection to the people most precious to you

Inability to really know your children and them unable to know you

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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