Last week, I talked about the problem with teen girls having 24/7 access to their phones.
But it’s not just a “teen girl” issue.
As you’ll discover in today’s post when I share what teen girls said about their parents’ cell phone usage…
The Great Cell Phone Divide
I received another interesting response from an 8th grade girl today when I asked the class, “When you have a child, is there anything you will do differently than your parents are doing?”
Girl: I’ll spend time with my child and pay attention to her.
Me: So, are you saying your mom doesn’t spend time with you?
Girl: We can be in the same room. But, it’s not like we’re spending time together.
Me: So, does your mom feel like because you’re in the room together, she’s spending time with you; but you’re not communicating?
Girl: Yes! My mom will just sit in her recliner and watch TV. I’ll be trying to talk with her and tell her about my day; and she’ll just kind of nod and be on her phone. And most times I just give up.
Me: So, I’ve been hearing from 8th grade girls a lot that cell phones are a problem for parents just as much as teens. Is that true?
1/3 of the class: OMG!!! YES!!!!!!
2nd Girl: That gets on my nerves SO BAD! I can be on my phone for like 2 seconds responding to a text and my mom will say, “Get off your phone. You’re always on it,” And she’ll be scrolling through Instagram ALL DAY and not listening to me.
Guilty as Charged
I shared the above conversation in a Facebook group for moms last week and it really struck a chord with many of them.
Below are just a few of the comments that were posted:
Guilty. Wow will be more mindful of this.
My kids actually told me this 5 or so years ago…it hurt my feelings cause I thought I was ‘multitasking’, but they were like, “no, put the phone/book/tv down and look at us!” I changed that very day.
Man…I needed this. This was conviction for me.
Thank you for telling us this. Put it down and actually pay attention, because I KNOW I am guilty of this. They need to talk and be heard.
Ouch!!! My toes hurt. My 4-year-old…4-year-old has asked me to put the phone down and pay attention to her. I was like, Dang! I’m sorry!!!
If you can relate to the moms above, and you’re “guilty as charged,” here are some suggestions you can do to make sure your daughter feels seen and valued:
- Implement a no-phone rule whenever your family is eating dinner, whether at home or in a restaurant. All phones go in the center of the table.
- Set a designated time to have a phone-free discussion every night to find out about your daughter’s day.
- Put your phone to good use by texting your daughter positive affirmations, silly gifs/memes, or just simply let her know you’re thinking about her and you love her.
Let’s face it, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your phone.
I’m guilty of that myself.
But as we saw last week, 24-7 phone access/usage is never a good thing.
…NOT for your daughter.
…NOT for you.
…NOT for your relationship as mother and daughter.
So be intentional about your phone use.
And remember: You’ll never have to look back and regret the time you spent engaging with your daughter instead of your cell.
If you’ve been guilty as charged of spending more time engaging with your cell than your daughter, what do you plan to do about it?
Or what have you already done to reconnect with your daughter?
Don’t worry, you have my permission to use your phone to respond. 😉
P.S. Is your daughter like the girls in my class who complained about their moms paying more attention to their phones than to them? Maybe she hasn’t said anything to you about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an issue for her. The good news is this is one mother-daughter issue that can easily be remedied. All you have to do is put down your phones and spend that time connecting with one another. As you can see from my students’ responses, your relationship with your daughter may depend on it.
P.P.S. The moms who admitted they were “guilty as charged” were genuinely unaware of how their phone usage might be negatively impacting their relationship with their daughters. And I believe that’s the case for most moms. And that’s why this message is so important to share in your own mom groups. The more moms who are made aware their cell phone usage is a problem, the more daughters we can prevent from having to experience it. So, please share this post today!