IMG_1881Your smartphone.

It holds your messages and texts.  It gets you online for answers.  The map gets you to your destination.

Constant entertainment through video games for your kids.

Wait.  Hold that thought.

Do you really want constant entertainment through video games for your kids?

Do you really want to experience the reality of this statistic firsthand:  Since the year 2000, we have reduced our attention span by 40 percent. 

If your child can’t sit in a waiting room for more than one minute before whipping out a video game, there is a problem.

If your child can’t behave in a restaurant without a screen while waiting 10 minutes for food, there is a problem.

If your older child can’t sit through a sermon at church or through the teacher’s lecture, there is a problem.

If you don’t want your child to experience these problems, you can help them by not having games on your phone.

When you hand your child a smartphone to occupy them at the first hint of boredom, it trains his or her brain to seek this constant amusement and engagement.  The constant noise of video games and television is a huge barrier to creative thought and to the development of deep thinking.

Those games may hold your child’s attention while you do errands or while you drive around town, but they hinder your child’s ability to pay attention to what is happening all around him or her.

I can’t tell you how many people have said troubling things about their teenagers like, “When my daughter got her driver’s license, she didn’t even know how to drive herself to school.  She didn’t know the directions because every day she’s looking down at her phone, not the streets.”

When your child is used to having a phone as a pacifier, he or she will be in trouble when it comes to the real world of school, relating to people, and future work.

Although it may seem like short-term punishment for you (“I need that phone to keep peace with my child!”), the long-term benefits to a game-free phone will make it all worthwhile.

I don’t have any games on my phone.  Believe me, it is not impossible to do this.  You can do it too!


Arlene Pellicane

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