Yesterday I joined Pinterest. Oops! Not only did I discover a whole new world of ideas and fun stuff — I also discovered an additional distraction from my already-overloaded daily agenda. After an hour of searching and repinning, I realized how easy it is to be drawn into the refreshing pool of seemingly delightful activities and ignore the less-glamorous world around me. Isn’t that the pull for each of us? We would rather play than work any day of the week.
Yes, I know that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” but I also realize that “all fun distractions and no interaction with my kids makes me a disengaged parent.” I’m not implying that we should completely divest ourselves of all webby distractions, but I am suggesting that we need to consider how much time we are spending in eye-to-eye contact with our kids in comparison to eye-to-eye contact with our own computer or phone.
How do we know how much internet engagement is too much? There is no single formula we can use to register our distraction level, but we can choose a fresh new approach to how we use our time each day. We need to think about a sensible amount of time that should be spent on the computer and set a timer for when it’s time to get off. We can make a deliberate effort to engage in conversation or play a game or do an activity with our kids before we hit the power button on our computer each day.
Most importantly, we can keep foremost in our minds the truth that God has entrusted us with the job of raising our precious kids. They will feel loved and understood as we spend time with them, looking them in the eye and listening to their hearts. Children may not verbalize it, but one of the sincere desires of every child’s heart is to spend meaningful time with their parents. Our kids are encouraged and strengthened when we take a genuine interest in them. Perhaps instead of spending so much time on Pinterest, we should devote our time to Kinterest, intentionally engaging in the precious blessings God has given to our lives. Paul reminded us, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
What are some ways you have found to balance your own internet time and time with your family? What are some of your favorite ways to engage with your kids and create meaningful time together?