I admit that one of my worst habits is my addiction to my cell phone. I’ve upgraded to a practically indestructible phone just so I can get through my days with a toddler without it being broken…again. A while ago I noticed that Casey’s behavior seemed to get worse when I was on my phone. He would become destructive or overly rambunctious, very loud, or want to nurse constantly. I finally put two and two together and realized that he didn’t like me being on my phone (duh!) because when I am on it, even if I am only trying to take a picture or post a picture or look up an activity for us to do, I am not paying attention to him. He’s pretty good about playing on his own when he wants to, or when I really need him to, but when he wants my attention, he wants it immediately!
When it finally got through my thick skull that my being on the phone was precipitating bad behavior, making me angry in the process, I sat him down and we had a talk. “I can tell that you do not like when mommy is on her phone because it means I’m not paying attention to you. I can see that it makes you angry and I’m sorry. I will try harder to not be on my phone when we are playing and you can always tell me to put my phone down if it is upsetting you.” I thought the talk went very well.
That was a few weeks ago and two days ago, for the first time, as I sat on the couch, exhausted, trying to update my Instagram (so unimportant in the long run), Casey came over and started trying to climb all over me. I gently tried to stave off his advances, asking him to hold on a minute. “Just let mommy finish this.”
“No phone please,” he said, pushing the hand holding my phone away. I looked up at him astonished. “Ok” and I immediately threw my phone behind a couch cushion and let him lead me into whatever game he wanted to play. I was so proud of him. I was a little ashamed of myself that I was so glued to my phone that he had to ask, but then that’s what I wanted him to do in the first place. He’s done this two other times since, telling me to put my phone away rather than act out.
I’m working on not being on my phone so much during the day. It’s hard. I go through phases where it’s easy but some days it’s like a magnet. Oh well. That’s the world we live in. But getting down on the floor and playing with Casey is so much more important and those three simple words, “No phone please,” provide all the incentive I need to disconnect from technology and reconnect with my little man.