“Most of us we have been using smartphones since 2010. I want you to raise your hand those of you who since you have a smartphone you notice a little less patients, it is difficult for you to be at a dinner with your partner without consulting the mobile phone, it is difficult for you to be at the bus stop without taking out the mobile phone to consult something because you have a harder time waiting. What we know about technologies is that they are making us a little more impatient», The neuropsychologist Álvaro Bilbao told us in his first presentation in Managing children. And it is not uncommon to see children playing in the park and adults sitting next to them consulting their mobile phone or a meeting of friends or family in which at some point everyone looks at the mobile phone or it even happens that we intend to see a series or a program while we comment on them on Twitter or consult social networks when the scene is boring. Is this good for our enjoyment of life? Are we missing something? ¿Can this be detrimental to the bond with our children?
They are stealing our time
“How much time do social networks occupy in our lives? We have put them in without taking anything out, so something is missing. I could be with my children while I upload photos to Instagram, which I upload on top of my children. It’s happening to us a bit like Momo’s men in gray, they are taking time. At the time of the world’s largest communication, we live the greatest lack of communication at home, in peer groups. We need time to walk, to observe nature, time to cry and these tears have to be with the family. My children have to see that I am not insensitive because I am in a hurry », Mar Romera told us in an interview.
Strange as it may seem, it is common for us to try to have a conversation with our children while we answer a WhatsApp message, which, while watching television, assaults us the need to check if we have news on the mobile or that Let’s go over what photos to upload of the romantic dinner that we are having with our partner. Are we really enjoying the present like this?
Multitasking is a myth, the present is limited and you have to prioritize
With the advent of new technologies, there was also the myth that we are capable of (and technologies help us to) to do several things at a time: being with our son in the park while we watch funny tweets, talking to our partner while we look at photos on Instagram, picking up the children from school while we answer messages on WhatsApp, eating while we gossip on Facebook, taking advantage of a red light in the car to reply a message (which, by the way, we tell you from our own experience that it is prohibited). So it seems that with the same time that we have we can carry out more activities and make better use of the minutes. It is a very interesting promise, right?
But, Catherine L’Ecuyer affirms in her book ‘Educating in reality’ that walking while we talk is not the same as talking to our son while watching the mobile, because these last two activities require processing information. We can make an appearance in the simultaneous activities to talk to our children consult mobile messages, but not attend to them at the same time. And studies show that when we multitask, the ability to process low information. In other words, we have to choose what to pay attention to.
Losing the present is disconnecting from our children
In a time when we have the source of thousands of distractions in our pockets, it seems difficult to focus on here and now (perhaps that is why the rise of mindfulness can be explained). And the truth is that our children, especially young children, live in that here and now. They are, Ángeles Jové told us, “presence detectors. They have a very powerful radar and they warn when we are there but without connecting, without really being, as if we were but in reality absent ».
So, added to the classic distractions that our parents had when they were with us and prevented them from enjoying the present (worries about what had happened, the burden of what was left to do), our hobby of consulting the mobile phone can further separate us from our children and, “the less connection there is between us and our children, the less harmony prevails in the home,” says Ángeles Jové.
Teach our children to enjoy the present
We are, we have repeated it over and over again, the benchmark of our children. What do we want to teach them: to enjoy the present or to be with a thousand things at the same time but none of them for real? Álvaro Bilbao told us in the aforementioned paper that “many times when we want our son to dine, we put a mobile in front of them that what he does is deactivate this connection” with the frontal gyrus, in charge of fixing attention, “instead of teaching the child to focus his attention, teaches him that he has to be attentive to different things at the same time “. While big executives pay a lot of money to learn to have a fuller attention (the famous “mindfulness”), “we we strive for our children to have shorter, more limited and more disaggregated care“laments Álvaro. For this reason, he tells us,” our children’s brains need us to teach them to savor life, not to consume it. “
The well-known neuropsychologist explains that there is a structure in the brain called the striated nucleus, which decides what attracts the brain “based on two criteria: the speed of satisfaction and the intensity of satisfaction. The child who has this part of the brain filled with exciting things, fast things, etc., you can’t pay attention to other things. ”There will come a time, Álvaro warns, when“ enjoying reading and having a good time with a friend in a park will seem much more boring than going to home and connect on the computer. ” It seems urgent, re-educate our striated nucleus to educate our children’s.
Keys so that the mobile does not steal our present
If you are considering the challenge that your mobile does not steal your present, we offer you some keys to achieve it.
one. Don’t whip out to whip yourself, but make decisions. The context in which we live, with technology in hand and with the feeling of constant lack of time, is the best breeding ground to fall into this kind of tremendously addictive trap. But if you see that you need to make changes in your time management and the example you are setting for your children, we encourage you to take charge of this decision and challenge yourself. In the words of Catherine L’Ecuyer, it is important «to learn as educators to see the consequences that harmful elements have around our children. We also have to recover that sensitivity that allows us to see what the eenvironmental effects that can affect our children. It’s not always worth saying, “Well, it’s not that bad.” That phrase reflects an attitude of throwing in the towel and cynicism “
2. Agreeing times. Silvia Álava gives us on our platform very interesting and practical ideas to better manage the time we have with our children. And one of them is agreeing on times, such as: «Now I am going to answer a grandmother’s WhatsApp, who needs to know one thing. As soon as I’m done, I can swing you in the park. You can also agree on times when the mobile is not present, such as during family meals or in the middle of an important conversation.
3. Pay attention to homework again. Surely the experience of eating, even alone, without any distraction or the experience of seeing a movie without the mobile in front or the enjoyment of a leisurely reading like a book will be small pleasures with which to enjoy the present again. Catherine L’Ecuyer, in a presentation, encouraged us to «back to slow activities, which require a lot of patience, such as conversation, reading, cooking or things as simple as tying your shoes ».
4. In short, as Catherine l’Ecuyer bets, it is about make the three-dimensional world more attractive than the two-dimensional world of flat panel displays. The expert herself affirms that “it is quite a challenge”, but that we can begin to tackle it when “we think that the three-dimensional world is more attractive than the two-dimensional world”.
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