Are You Phubbing Your Spouse and Kids?

lifestyle parenting Oct 24, 2019
Are You Phubbing Your Spouse and Kids

Has this ever happened to you?

It’s dinner, and your kids are telling you about their fun day at school. Jumping in, your wife tells you about a hilarious little mishap involving your dog and the gate. Unfortunately, you’re oblivious to most of the things said. Why? Because you were checking a work email on your phone.

If something like this keeps happening, you’re guilty of “phubbing.”

Phubbing is the latest form of “technoference” hitting homes and dinner tables all over the country. And if you’re not careful, it can take over your family life and change your family dynamics and communication for the worse.

Don’t worry. We at Dad University are here to give you a much-needed phub-tervention.

Stick around and learn our top tips for winning the war on phubbing.

What’s Phubbing?

“Phubbing” is an amalgamation of two words — “phone” and “snubbing.”

So, when we say you are “phubbing” someone, you’re on your phone and ignoring someone as a result.

With the rise of technology, phubbing is on the rise. Not only is it rude but because of how mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, phubbing can also affect family dynamics and relationships in insidious ways.

Unless you do your part as a dad to put a stop to phubbing in your household, it’ll just be a matter of time before matters escalate and communications in the home break down.

How To Deal With Phubbing in Your Relationships

Granted, you’re not always the one who’s guilty of being on your phone at inappropriate times. To address phubbing at home, here are some actionable tips to keep the attention on family time instead of on FaceTime.

Let’s start with the simplest but most awkward — calling out the behavior directly.

1. Have a Direct Conversation

If your partner is always on their phone at really inappropriate times, it’s best to call them out on it. By engaging in a direct conversation, you can point out your partner’s inappropriate behavior.

Besides that, directly calling out the behavior gives you ample opportunity to discuss how you feel about phubbing. It’s the right time to bring up how you feel and how the behavior affects the family as a whole.

2. Be More Entertaining

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but your partner or kids may be on their phones because you’re not that entertaining or engaging. If this is the case, you can put a lid on the time they spend on their phones by being more engaging.

An easy way to engage your family and partner is to introduce an activity. It can be a walk or a trip to the park, as long as it gets your family members off their phones.

3. Create Rules

We at Dad University frown upon phubbing. However, we’re not saying that mobile phone use is always a bad thing. There should just be rules surrounding responsible and appropriate use.

Be sure to set rules collaboratively. By setting rules as a family, you’ll develop guidelines in a way that promotes mutual respect and understanding.

What If YOU’RE the One Who’s Phubbing?

It’s bad enough if your partner or kids are on their phones at the expense of family time. However, what if you’re phubbing them? If you are, here are some steps you can take to keep your phubbing in check.

1. Reduce Notifications

In an ideal world, you should switch your phone off during your time with your family, like mealtimes or gatherings. However, doing this may be a stretch, so we’ll just recommend that you reduce or switch off your notifications.

Reducing or switching off your notifications allows you to keep your phone on. However, because you won’t sense any messages or emails coming in, you’ll have fewer reasons to bring out your phone.

2. “Wait” It Out

When you do get a notification or recall an email you need to send, ask yourself this question:

“Can it wait?”

Surprisingly, in a vast majority of cases, the answer will most likely be “yes.”

You can, in reality, wait an extra hour before you send out an email.

An extra half hour or two is not a big deal for a meeting notification.

And, if the notification is the latest one from your news app, it’ll always be there, so don’t sweat about checking it right away.

What won’t be around forever is the time you have with your family. By placing a higher sense of urgency on your phone, you might be missing out.

3. Be Present

Elsewhere, we’ve talked about the importance of being present. Whether it’s for your wife or your kids, being available physically and mentally is one of the best things you can be as a dad. Being on your phone prevents you from doing this.

When you’re with your partner or kids, put your phone away. You’ll be amazed at how much your family will enjoy your presence — and you’ll be equally surprised about how your phone doesn’t come to mind.

4. Stop Making Excuses

Sometimes, you just “need” to check your inbox, right? Wrong!

Whatever it is that you say to justify your phone use at inappropriate times, know that it’s likely an excuse. Hence, acknowledge it and take responsibility for your behavior.

Once you acknowledge that you make excuses for using your phone at the dinner table or during time out with your family, you’ll be taking the first steps to self-regulating your behavior.

Phub Less, Fellow Dad

Phubbing threatens our relationships with the ones we love. However, implement the tips we’ve shared with you, and this behavior will be a thing of the past.

So phub less, fellow dad.

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