Raising a family can be a daunting task, especially with distractions such as cellphones and tablets.
A new book, Happy Parents, Happy Kids by Peterborough-based author Ann Douglas, offers some insight as to how parents can better cope with the anxiety and guilt that often come with living in the digital age.
About the cellphone, she says “you can use it for good or you can overuse it,” adding that many parents have fallen victim to the device at the expense of their children.
“You get a beep, you get a notification. These things are designed to lure us into an endless pit of scrolling. Part of it is a way to escape the anxiety of the world,” she said.
So Douglas wrote about why parenting in the 21st century seems to be so difficult and what can be done to make it better.
“We need to hit the pause button on some of those feelings of guilt, anxiety and judgment that they’re (parents) feeling because that just makes parenting harder and parenting is already hard enough,” said the author of more than 30 parenting books.
“We have to use the phone as a tool but not let it get in the way of actually living and enjoying our life because some of the most powerful storage devices for images are in our own brains.”
She recalls one famous father who was distracted not by technology but rather by paper.
“Abraham Lincoln is famous, apparently, for one day walking his kids in a wagon (while) reading a book at the time. He tipped the kids out of a wagon. So parents have always been distracted.”
Happy Parents, Happy Kids is published by Harper Collins.
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