Dad's Message to Parents: Kids Actually Miss You When You're Glued to a Phone

 

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DaDMuM/Facebook

Our phones have replaced so many things in our lives -- alarm clocks, paper calendars, watches. But they can't replace our families. One dad realized that while he was connecting with the outside world, he was missing out on the people right in front of him. His plea to fellow parents about being more present just might have you putting your own phone down more often.

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Popular blogger DadMum is the first to admit that he's addicted to his phone, even when he's supposed to be watching his kids. "I was home alone with the boys and was on Facebook trying to keep up with the world," he writes. Sounds familiar, right?

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In a scene that will feel like déjà vu to many of us, his young son came in and tried to engage him with a toy, but he was too engrossed in his phone to play with the boy. "Knox came up and stood in front of me. I didn't even notice him at first but he was clearly trying to get my attention," he writes. "He was trying to show me one of his cars. I didn't even look up from my phone when I replied, 'Wow mate that's a cool one.' He continued to stand in front of me. He started saying 'Hi.' I said 'Hi' back at him a few times but he didn't stop. He got another toy and kept trying to get my attention." 

Eventually DadMum sent the boy off to play with his brother. When he finally lifted his head out of the Facebook fog, he realized that he'd been so busy with work for the past few days that he hadn't spent any time with his sons. What he saw as an annoying distraction from his social media scrolling was really his son desperately trying to get his attention. 

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DaDMuM/Facebook

He spent the rest of the day in super-dad mode. "I felt like sh*t," he wrote. "I was being the dad I never wanted to be. I'd had enough. So I went into the other room and asked him to play. His entire face lit up. He said 'sure' and scooched over to make room for me next to him. We played all day and I left my phone on the bench."

But while many of us would go back to our same phone habits the next day, something shifted for DadMum. He now says he goes up to a week without posting on social media, and he's a better parent for it. 

His words have been shared nearly 7,000 times and have over 3,000 comments. Most parents agree that they also need to do a better job of disconnecting for the sake of their kids. 

Others argue that it's not always that simple. Not all parents who are on their phones are on social media, and work doesn't always end when the clock strikes five. Sometimes it follows you home in the palm of your hand. 

And some said that for them, finding moderation is what works best.

Still, DadMum says at the end of the day your kids don't care about the latest viral video, the news, or how many likes their photo got on Instagram. All they want is you.

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"Kids don't give a sh*t about the world. All they care about is you being right there with them. We need to put the phones down when we're with them."

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