Dr. Pressman | How to mindfully use your phone around baby and what your phone means from baby's point of view
Interestingly, we started Seedlings Group the same year the iPhone came out. So I think the biggest shift that I've watched in real time has been that massive change in our interactions, our technology, and our interactions with technology. Amazing things have happened because of it. Amazing connections and amazing recordings of our experiences with our family. But it's also removed sometimes our presence in our parenting and in our interpersonal relationships. So that's been by far the biggest challenge I think for parents in general. Because first, the challenges, you as a parent have to figure out what your relationship with technology is, especially as you're growing your baby.
And then you have to figure out what the relationship is between your baby and your child and technology. And then, you have to let go because they get so old you've done your best to guide them and you've provided them with the boundaries that they need. And then that's it. That's all you can do. The world of technology becomes its own beast.
So without a massive cloud of judgment, I do try to influence parents to just think about the message that they're sending to their infants, and young children, with regard to technology. Because when they're on their phone, which we are on our phones so much, and if you're trying to both work and be around your child, you're on your phone even more potentially, but I do try to encourage parents to think consciously. Like “What message am I sending to my child about the importance of this particular object?” So if you've from birth, seen that your parent is holding this very important object that is taking focus away from anything else. That is going to highlight the importance of the iPhone or the smartphone or whatever it's called. And that is not necessarily the message that you want to give to your child.
The other thing that I encourage parents to think about is, is the moment that you're recording something that you're going to keep revisiting so much that you want to record it at the expense of experiencing it in that moment? And a lot of times you don't go back to it, except for in a highlight reel for a big milestone birthday perhaps. But you missed the actual moment. It's hard because it feels like, “Oh I should record this.” I think that when you go to a school show or a school recital, it's the wildest thing because nobody's watching but everybody's recording it. And I even wonder if anybody goes back and looks at the recording or who they did that for. And sometimes it's a gift, because families live far away and you can connect them and they didn't have to be there, but you missed it. So I encourage phones to be used as needed but not used unnecessarily.
Dr. Pressman's Tips
- Try to be present to get the most out of connecting
- Use your phone wisely knowing that baby sees you focus on it
- Set boundaries early on