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Want to Instantly Improve Your Parenting? Try Doing This . . .

2014-08-26 23:10

Enjoy

 

It was 90° in Nashville and we were late. Sweat jumped off of us as we ran through the parking lot toward the arena gate. A roar rippled across the sky when 50,000+ screaming teenage girls jumped to their feet as the warm up band took the stage.

“It’s the first song mom, c’mon! Run faster! We can’t miss the first song! We can’t!” my daughter looked back and screamed as if we were running through Jurassic Park and about to get picked off by a Pterodactyl.

This wasn’t just any concert. It was the heart-melting UK boy band One Direction opened by the equally scream-inducing band Five Seconds of Summer. We purchased tickets for this show nine months earlier and my daughter had a countdown app on her phone that ticked off the days (270 days of them) until we’d be standing in this very spot.

Then it hit me: I had left my phone in the car.

“Wait! I’ve got to go back for my phone,” I yelled to my daughter and her friend as they darted ahead.
“Mom, no, we can’t! Please mom, please! Leave the phone. Let’s go, pleeeeese!”

The frantic look on my daughter’s face made everything move in slow motion. It was a Sophie’s Choice moment: Going back for my phone or getting to our seats in time to hear the first song of my daughter’s favorite band “ever, of all time, and in the entire universe.”

What would I do for the next four hours without my phone? How would everyone get in touch with me? How would I post cool photos? What would I do without my photo apps that made me look five years younger? How would we get help if we suddenly came under enemy attack?

Sans phone, I instantly felt uncomfortable. I felt anxious, vulnerable, and even a little negligent. To some parents this might seem like an exaggerated dilemma, to others well, you will get it.

1d

1D concert: So much better without a phone! #LoseThePhone (photos by Olivia Birdsong)

We found our seats. I looked around and envied other parents merrily checking their email, tweeting, or texting (their peers no doubt) as endless waves of dancing, screaming teens whipped up around them.

It took a full five minutes for me to realize a breeze had kicked in, my daughter was beaming and singing at the top of her lungs, and the music was . . . well, pretty amazing.

I jumped to my feet when Five Seconds of Summer did a cover of The Romantics’ ’80s hit “What I Like About You” and that’s exactly where I stayed for the next four hours.

For the first time in years I didn’t miss a beat of the life going on around me—not a photo, a text, and email, a tweet or a post. No sharing. I just took it all in and kept it there, savoring it, just for me. And I loved it.

So, do you want to instantly become a better parent?

Then lose the phone.

It’s not an appendage. Your heart won’t stop working if your phone is not in your hand (I’m proof). The next time you head out to an event with your family leave your phone in the car so it’s not even a temptation. Be fully present. Get addicted to real time and real people. Feel the urge to share something? Share the present moment with the person next to you. Listen in. Notice the details. Respond genuinely and retrain your mobile brain to savor the now.

I experienced some things that night I would have missed had my face been glued to my phone. I saw inside my daughter’s world, danced along side of her, and got to be that awkward mom who manages to loudly butcher even the simplest lyric. It was the best time I had in years and no doubt, one of my favorite memories with my daughter.

Oh, I almost forgot: Even though we had seats in the nosebleed section, I’m pretty sure 1D lead singer Harry Styles looked straight at me and winked, which is enough to make a girl (of any age) ditch her phone for good! #LoseThePhone

 

ToniTwitterHSToni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @SafeEyes. (Disclosures).

The post Want to Instantly Improve Your Parenting? Try Doing This . . . appeared first on McAfee.


Source: gnitnerap-evorpmi-yltnatsni-tnaw/remusnoc/moc.eefacm.sgolb

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