In today’s world, parents and children alike seemed to be fighting an endless battle with distraction. It seems like every month a new technology comes out that shortens our attention span. But what if the technology isn’t to blame? What if the real issue isn’t our phones, it’s us? My guest today Nir Eyal, author of the book Indistractable, is going to coach us on understanding the tendencies that we have for distraction, and help us with a roadmap for Raising Indistractable Children.

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Show Highlights

With evolving technology like virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence, the future is becoming more and more distracting for our kids. In fact, Nir Eyal says, becoming indistractable is the skill of the century.

Being indistractable – being able to take control of your attention, your time, and your life as opposed to other people controlling it for you – is really valuable for people of all ages, not just children. Becoming indistractable yourself is a step to helping your child master the skill as well.

One major cause of distraction is seeking an escape from something we don’t want to feel. Whether it’s stress, anxiety, fatigue, we impulsively turn to distractions to take our mind off these uncomfortable feelings. The first step we have to take is to understand how to master those internal triggers.

When it come to kids, the problem is, parents have no idea what their kids are escaping from when they overuse the number one distraction – technology. Parents often blame external factors, anything that is not us. The risk is, we don’t get to the root of why our kids turn to distractions.

We need to address our children’s need to affirm their competency, confidence, and autonomy. If they aren’t able to feel these offline, they’ll look for these online. Nir says, “If we fail to understand the deeper reason why kids overuse technology, we keep putting bandaids on a gash wound.”

Help your child by setting parameters and involving them in making the rules. 45 minutes of screen time is not harmful, as long as it is age appropriate content. Working this into your child’s schedule also takes their mind off of it the rest of the day. They know they get to play their video game or watch their show at the right time. If they make the rules with you, they will be less likely to cheat.

Resources Mentioned