Analog dates and cradle cats

in OCDlast month

After calling as a family to @galenkp (as we do most weekends), we headed off to the hardware store to pick roof panels, grab some wall paint for the basement (trying to make it look presentable), buy an electric heater to keep the area warm for the reno work, as well as have a look at options to replace the water heating systems, as we might be able to heavily undercut what we have already ordered, but don't necessarily have to take.

The roof panels we are choosing are MDF rather than real wood, as they are about 1/4 of the price. We are looking for as simple as possible and I think there won't be too much issue with them and, it isn't like they will be subject to wear and tear.

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We were pretty efficient with our time so I decided to give my wife a few hours to herself (to clean some renovation stuff) and take Smallsteps into the city for a Daddy and Daughter coffee date. We haven't done it for ages due to circumstances and we have both missed it.

Not only that, I did something I very, very rarely do - I didn't take my phone.

Like most people these days, I take my phone most places and find myself checking it as if I am a drug addict looking for crumbs at the bottom of a baggy. That is how I feel anyway, though I think I am far less attached than some people, especially since I don't use many apps and Hive is the thing I spend most time on by far.

It was nice to be analogue though, and I was interested to see how many times I would reach for my phone or, miss it in some way. It wasn't many and I didn't miss it other than when I wanted to check the price of something for Smallsteps' future room - and at the parking lot, as the shopping center gives the first hour parking free through their app, which means I had to pay full price.

When I am with Smallsteps, I am barely on the phone anyway as I far prefer to spend my time with her, as we have a ball together. It kind of annoys me when we go for example to the park, and children are trying to get the attention of their parents who are mindlessly scrolling through whatever random feed far less important than time with their child. I think there is a massive "cats in the cradle" problem coming, except instead of parents busy working, they were there the whole time - just staring at a phone instead.

I think that because we have spent a lot of time together alone over the years, Smallsteps and I have a pretty good relationship and even though we have some personality clashes due to our similarity, most of the time we are good friends. I am not looking forward to the time where "Daddy, I like to hold your hand as we walk" turns into, "Drop me off around the corner so my friends don't see you". I figure a I have a few years left before it really becomes an issue - although she does seem to be growing up rapidly at the moment.

It is a funny little conflict in parenting, we want our children to grow up "big and strong", but will always miss them needing us, being fragile and innocent. Every time Smallsteps says a word correctly that she has been saying wrong, I feel a little pain as I know that past that point, she will never get it wrong again. All of the cute little habits and errors are slowly ironed out of her daily life and then the real problems start.

For now though, I will enjoy the times we have together the best I can and hope that she has some good memories of her childhood too. It was around her age that my own childhood started to change, as my sister was born and then over the next few following years, my parents' marriage was winding down. While there were good times, I spent a lot of my early years concerned and thinking about people in my family's well-being and I kept it all to myself for many years. I don't think it is a healthy position for a child or at least, it doesn't make for a healthy childhood, but it is what it is and there are likely many benefits to having that experience - many drawbacks too.

Back then, there was no escape to a screen and for me, there was little escape to anywhere. I think the situation has been reversed these days, we bury ourselves into a world of entertainment and where we need to escape to is real life - but after so much neglect, real life might not be in a very attractive condition, especially when compared to the engineered worlds of the digital landscape we have access to. We are becoming disconnected from not only each other, but our own lives and perhaps one day we will wake up and want to reconnect.

But we'll get together then
You know we'll have a good time then

When is then?

Taraz
[ Gen1: Hive ]

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In the last two or three years, I have really disconnected myself from my phone. Especially after deleting all my social media accounts.

Now, I only need my phone for making calls, or checking something. Otherwise, I don't even see my phone for half the day.

Seems really different from the time 3-4 years ago, when I was buried in my phone. Spending all my evening watching videos on facebook. Or scrolling on instagram. Lol.

I have a really good connection like that with my nephew. He is 10 now. I miss those days when he was really small and cute.

Now, even though he is just 10, I feel he is all grown up now. Understands a lot more than kids of his age do. Whenever we talk, or meet, he talks about his days, what he is doing in sports, or his school etc. As opposed to kids of his age in my family who are spending all their time in the last 6 months playing games on their phones/tablets.

Lol, I have an older nephew of 16, he barely talks with me once or twice in a week. He spends all his day reading manga, watching anime etc.

Kids are really different these days.

Understands a lot more than kids of his age do. Whenever we talk, or meet, he talks about his days, what he is doing in sports, or his school etc.

Perhaps he has "uncle influence" affecting him ;D

Kids are really different these days.

Kids are very different, but I think that all have the potential for creativity, before they are trained as consumers. I find that at least observationally, there is a difference between the kids who have parents that spend time with them, or parents who waste time with them :)

Yepp, I think when I look at my family, I can see the difference. My younger nephew's parents spends a lot of quality time with him daily. So, whenever he is around people, he enjoys talking with them.

Whereas, the older one's dad is in army, and his mom is also working. So, he is used to spending very little time with his parents. Especially his dad. It might be the reason why he doesn't like to be that much social and spends most of his time on his phone/tablet.

Perhaps there is strengths and weaknesses in all approaches and parents do the best they can. I am unsure why some parents can do so very little though.

Staying away from your cellphone or computer for a few hours is something we all should do regularly to realize there is life beyond connectivity. I agree with you it is sad to see parents in the park with their kids requesting their attention and they just keeping their eyes on the screen.
It is great to have access to everything we have online right now but balance is key and too many young kids do not realize how important is to have a social life offline to keep balanced.

Since we do tend to learn a lot by example, I wonder what kinds of parents the kids will grow into - or how many will be parents at all, given how little social connection many seem to want these days and I can only imagine it will get worse. Perhaps for some kids, there will be a flip back to analogue, but I reckon that for most there will be a doubling-down on digital parenting.

How big is Smallsteps and how beautiful! God bless her. I think this publication should be read by many parents. Some of them are not aware of it: that children grow up quickly and what they will remember from their childhood is the little or much time they had with their parents, as you remember it now. Today's parents seek to fill their children with things, especially technology, not realizing that time is the best gift they can give. Nice family Sunday for you, @tarazkp

She is so cheeky too!

Today's parents seek to fill their children with things, especially technology, not realizing that time is the best gift they can give.

People don't have time to "look after themselves, eat right, invest, have relationships, improve their mind..." I don't think it is any wonder that parents haven't the time to parent anymore - but what does this make them then?

Maybe they've literally spent all day playing or doing stuff with the kids around all the other nonsense that apparently desperately needs to be done to prove you're a responsible adult and are taking a quick breather to scroll through their feeds while the kids are happily preoccupied in the new environment and just don't really feel like answering the fifty millionth call for attention just in the last hour or so right then and are probably well aware that they're risking other people judging them for not wanting to spend every waking second on their kids XD

Perhaps. What is the probability? ;D

I'm inclined to say higher than you'd think, but more information would be required XD

At our gymnastics club, there are a LOT of parents who are on their phones instead of/while watching their kids. It's entirely possible they're just mindlessly scrolling through their feeds while they have a moment to do so. I know a couple of parents who do that, but both are also heavily involved in their children's lives, so while they're sitting there they're also answering emails and other messages, online shopping for stuff they or the kids need, and way too many people use Facebook to coordinate stuff (this regularly happens with the gymnastics club so someone usually has to remember to tell me about it if it's important), or reading stuff that schools have sent out about events or excursions or whatever.

As the levels get higher and the kids usually get older, some of the parents are just not in the building at all. The usual assumption seems to be that they're swanning around the shops having coffees or something, but I've spoken to a lot of the people who drop and run and they're running another child to another activity, running errands, going grocery shopping, going home to clean and do dinner, pretty much everything but swanning around the shops drinking coffee, although a couple of lucky ones occasionally have a coffee date with a friend or relative in that time or otherwise squeezing in some other form of relaxation.

And then there's people like myself and another friend who are volunteers there so we're often running around doing stuff instead of watching our kids. Better or worse because we're "there" but not really? :D Someone usually gets our attention if there is something we need to watch though XD

It is always going to be on a case by case basis and everyone will do as they do - but I see enough of it while out and about that I can't assume that it is that rare time they are using the screen as a babysitter or, the screen while with their kids or whatever. It could also depend on culture too of course, but I think it is fairly universal these days.

I also think that parents have too many activities for their kids - but that is a different post :D

!ENGAGE 20

Some years back I was listening to this gym parent telling me about all the activities her kids did (there were activities that started at between 5am and 7am to cram in a few hours before school, then school as they went to school, then there was after school activities literally every day and then at some point they had to have dinner and do their homework and whatever, rinse repeat).

Haven't met anyone that full on since but definitely agree there XD Though in all seriousness I think there's too much crammed into life in general which leads to lack of patience and general exhaustion but I blame "working for a living" for absolutely everything ;D

Now or never :)

Excellent article.

888 words specially adjusted?

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lol no - but I noticed it just as I was posting and it gave my OCD a little endorphin rush ;D

To give up the phone when spending time with a loved one is a must. I think it shows maturity and self control. Too many people are hooked on their phones just like drug addicts. They miss the whole point of time spent together: closeness, joy, emotion. It's valuable nowadays to meet someone willing to give up those plastic bricks for genuine connection. Parents trully need that because kids deserve all the quality time in the world. I often think how would it be to just take 1 to 2 weeks off without the phone and just enjoy the simplicity of human connection, of sincere dialogue, of interesting witty conversations. We people need more of that.

I have found that going "phoneless" alone is good exercise too. I wonder how many random relationships are missed while people stare down instead of talk to the person next to them on the bus.

Oh yes! Spot on! I value so much a genuine conversation, a time one on one. Plastic bricks don't love you, people do. We need a detox from technology in order to really appreciate what matters: the person sitting next to us, the space in between that we can fill with conversation, affection, caring, love.

I've learned to enjoy special moments without my phone. My only sadness is when I don't take pictures to remember those moments, but I guess having them in my heart means more than losing those few seconds trying to get the right angle. It's a different kind of feel all together.

I think you are right - I have the same feeling that I should capture all the moments on camera, but I try not to at times and instead enjoy the moment lived.

hey i remember you tip some engage token to me can you tell me were to earn more

Sure

!ENGAGE 15

You can only get them from buying them or having someone with over 1000 ENGAGE tip you.

Thank you for your engagement on this post, you have recieved ENGAGE tokens.

You made wisely choices : spending time with your daughter...Actually i will do it with my daughter too she is too small for coffee now :)

Leaving phone behind is a great thing nowadays.Sometimes i read in İnstagram real richness signs are having free time and wealth.I can add this list leaving phone behind :) It is really hard thing for me.

And choosing MTF instead of real wood is a logical decision...

And these behaviours that you talk about is the signs of being a teenager. Children grow up and we all are getting old. I wish the concept of time behaves differently but i know it doesn't my friend...

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This is such a heart rending loving post. So glad that you see the time spent with Smallsteps not as a sacrifice offered from your busy schedule, or as just another job.
Made we regret my prolonged absences from my own ones during their early years, even though I had to work hard to keep a roof over our our heads.

I hope that many parents read this post.

Btw. I don't have a phone lol, as my wife handles that side of the marriage :)

who is @galenkp to you?

I'm the older, but dumber, brother.

so you two are brother by blood?

Born on the same day, 9 years apart. Yes.

same day? that some luck you got there

I know a lot of parents who can't spend time with their kids because of their phone.