No, we’re not talking about your child putting down their phone. We’re talking about you. The parent. The one whose actions have a far greater impact than words.
It’s important that we model our behavior in a manner that is consistent with our expectations for our kids. According to a Science Daily study, one in three parents reads text messages while they are driving with their children in the car. You can tell them not to do it all you want. But when they see you texting and driving, you are teaching them that it is ok. You have successfully done what you are telling them not to do. You’re showing them that it is ok and creating a false sense of security.
We can also teach our children through our actions that we don’t need to be available every second of the day. Most of us have jobs that allow us to be unavailable and detached from our electronic devices. Do it! What message are we sending to our kids when we bring a cell phone to the dinner table and answer texts and emails? While your work emails and texts are important to you, messages and social media from their friends is important to them. We don’t see it the same, but kids do.
Many kids are looking for reasons and justifications to do what they want, not what you say. Don’t let your actions by the enemy of your words. Your kids are watching you.
Parent Tip Tuesday is a weekly series where the Parker Police Department talks about an issue involving parents and children. Topics will range from the latest apps and technology to building resiliency in your children. Our goal is to give parents five minutes’ worth of information every week that is easily digestible and educate them about new issues that they or their children may face. Please comment below if there are topics that you would like to see us cover.
You can find the previous Parent Tip Tuesday content on our website: http://www.parkerpolice.org/2032/Parent-Tip-Tuesday