Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Not A Smart Phone Park

We've spent the last week in Florida.  We had a lot of fun in our last hurrah before the start of school - and now I'm scrambling to do all the school prep I haven't done over the past week - and I am going to do a few write ups of our experiences at some of the new parks we hadn't been to previously, with a slant towards the perspective of taking someone with special needs to the park.

Overall, we had a blast.  Most of us anyway.  I noticed that whenever the wee ones were on a ride at Legoland (many are truly designed for little kids and parents can't join them), my husband was constantly on his phone.  Apparently my reluctance for him to join the smart phone age was well justified...

Husband on the phone

Rather than watching the wee ones cavorting - in this instance, driving in the Ford Motor School Driving Test, heading the wrong way down streets and blowing past stop signs they swear they didn't see - my husband was checking the weather.  Or maybe Facebook.  Or maybe reading news.  Or who knows, maybe it was online poker.

For him, watching the wee ones have fun and sharing in their enjoyment is something he wasn't raised with.  His parents didn't interact with him in the same way that my parents did - nor do they interact with the wee ones when we visit.  It's a completely different style of parenting, and from my perspective, it's not a fun or filled with joy.  It isn't that it's wrong, but it's not how I am.

I've given up trying to change him, for the most part.  The second he's finished eating, he's up clearing dishes and moving on to the next thing, regardless of how many of the rest of us are still eating and trying to enjoy a family meal.  When he plays a board game with the wee ones, it's about getting to the end of the game instead of having fun along the way - you don't want to be the one having a conversation when it's your turn! And that's all he ever knew.

How about you?  How were you raised?  Do you follow the same tenets of child rearing that your parents used?  And what's your take on hanging out on smart phones around your children?


Sandra August 15, 2012 at 10:46 PM  

DH and I are smartphone addicts. I'm guilty of being on it a lot. But I pick my times. By the time dinner's over and the kids have left the table, we do check this or that. DH's phone is basically his Blackberry, which means he's a slave to his work ALL. THE. TIME. And that's something I can't blame him for, since HE doesn't wish it either.

I realize we have to be good models for the kiddos, so some of this addictive behavior needs to be changed soon before they hit the smartphone age. Sometimes we just need it to unwind--read news, blogs, social media, whatnot. But I understand your point. I need to do better. (At least I admit it?) :)

Pat August 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM  

Our youngest son gave us a T-Mobile cheap phone and put us on his plan, but we can't get any connection where we live. We can only use it when we're out of the mountains, so we never even use it unless we're travelling. So we're basically not cell phone people.

As far as interacting with family, my hubby is a big-time conversationalist (talker) and he can schmooze with the best of them, even with kids and grandkids. He loves to talk with people and play with our grandkids. He's good (?) at giving advice to our grown a fault. I sometimes mention to him that maybe he should only give advice when he's asked for it from a son, rather than dishing it out so much. He loves to gab at the table and stretch out the time, even though now it's just the two of us most of the time. His mom interacted with him the most, his dad, not so much. Same with my parents. My dad talked at us, but not with us.

Kori August 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM  

I don't do anything my parents did, I don't think, or I try hard not to. i love my smartphone but try not to be one it too much when hanging with the family.

Laural Out Loud August 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM  

I guess I'm lucky in that my husband is a different father than the one he was raised by (typical Latin macho man that left all the child rearing to the women). When he's with our kids, he's totally involved. BUT... he doesn't have a smart phone yet! That might change things, lol.

Not a Perfect Mom August 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM  

My mom wasn't a spectacular mother, so I try and be the opposite...
and when we take the kids to the park or somewhere, both my hubs and I interact and play with them...not that we don't have our phones with us, but the kids are a priority-especially at a theme's all about family time....DH is a caterer and works so much he soaks up the kids when he can

Claudya Martinez August 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM  

I love this post because I think about this sort of thing all the time. I am on the internet FAR TOO much! I miss out on many moments that I can never get back and are surely more important than Instagram or FB.

The thing is I am torn. My husband is by far more hands on and present when it comes to playing. I of course play with my kids, I also spend a lot more time with them, but I don't feel the need or desire to play with them as much as my husband does. The time we spend together involves play, but also everyday activities and chores. I was raised a little differently than he was. Kids played with kids, adults...not so much. I want a happy medium. He complains because when he's home the girls won't leave him alone. I tell him it's because that's how he trained them. They don't want the same things from me that they want from him.

Still, I am working on not having my face stuck in a computer, staring at a phone, or behind a camera all the time. It's a way of not being truly present and I want to be present.

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