Farah Pink confessed that she feels like a 'piece of s**t' when she is on her phone while her daughter is playing.
Trying to reduce their child's screen time and get them to engage in more outdoorsy activities is something that most parent today struggles with. Part of the problem is that from a child's perspective, we adults stay glued to our phones while we ask them not to, thereby contradicting ourselves and coming across as hypocrites.
You want to set a good example for your child, and that cannot be established if your eyes are fixated on your phone every time you get a moment of respite. However, this is easier said than done. If you have a habit of mindlessly scrolling on your phone while your child is in the room, this parenting hack is just for you. Mother-of-one Farah Pink confessed that she feels like a "piece of s**t” when she is on her phone while her daughter is playing.
Crippled with severe mom guilt, Pink took extra measures to ensure that she sends her daughter the right message even when she gets some mom time on her phone. In a now-viral video with over 54K views, Pink explains that she purchased a fake book online with a few pages and a phone holder inside the book.
"The pages look pretty real but you can only flip the first few pages," she says while showing off the item. "Then here in the middle, you can stick your phone in it." She noted that she can now unwind on the couch, pretending to read a book, while her daughter plays. "She's gonna think I'm reading but I'm on my phone and she's gonna be playing. I'm setting a really good example,” Pink jokes in the video.
Fellow parents in the comments section loved this idea, with some complaining that their kids are too nosey to have this book around the house. "I want this, but my nosey kids will come behind me," commented @cest.la.vie4. "My kids would be all up in my business wanting me to read to them," joked @K.
"My kids would IMMEDIATELY want to see my book," added @tiffny_jn. "My daughter wants to sit with me and flip the pages for me when I read," said @jaimevictoria10. "My problem is my toddler wants my book too," quipped @brenda_velz.
Yes, this is all fun and good, but phones are part of modern-day life, and as a parent, spending too much time scrolling when you're with your child can affect their communication development. According to Expressable, recent studies highlight that children often use words like "sad" and "lonely" to describe how they feel when their parents are glued to their phones.
On the other hand, teenagers admitted that their parents are "addicted" to their phones and wish they would use them less. It is reported that parents tend to be less responsive or have poor reactions to their child's emotional needs when distracted by screen time. In a study conducted at the Boston University School of Medicine, researchers found that maternal use of mobile devices was associated with 20 percent fewer verbal and 39 percent fewer nonverbal interactions.
Another study revealed that smartphone interference–also known as "technoference"– affects processes critical to language acquisition. When a parent is focused on their phone rather than on interactions, it reduces eye contact and joint attention.
Joint attention is when a child and a parent attend to the same object, with both aware that the other is focused on that object. This is a crucial skill for babies in their communication development. It is not easy to reduce smartphone usage, and if you still decide to use your phone in front of your child, that's OK. But spending time being less distracted will benefit both you and your children.