I came across this sobering bit of research this week:
62% of kids between 6 and 12 report their parents are distracted when the kids are trying to talk to them.
You can make one educated guess what the biggest distraction was. Yup, cell phones (28%), followed by siblings (25%).
Here’s a quote that made me stop and wonder. When an 8-year old girl was asked what would happend if her parents lost their cell phones for a day, this is what she answered: “Freak out, but I’d be happy.”
So let’s stop for a minute and think about what this means. Kids are trying to talk to their parents, but the parents are distracted by their phones, or by something else. How long do you think it will take before kids will stop trying to connect?
It’s easy to apply this research about distracted conversations to only parents. I mean, I have a 7-year old son and I know I am sometimes distracted by my phone. Fortunately, my son is quite capable of getting my full attention, because he will call me out when I’m multitasking when I’m talking to him.
But what about our students? Do we give them our full, undivided attention when they try to talk to us? Or do they have to compete for our attention with our phones, our mental to do list, other students…? Think about it. How long before students stop trying to get our attention if we’re often/always distracted?
Yeah, talk about a wake up call.
[Source: Real Simple Magazine, February 2015, page 12]