Put Down the Phone! Raising Kids in a Digital Age

Raising kids in a digital age comes with a whole new set of difficulties. From managing screen time to monitoring what kids have access to, parenting with screens can be a difficult balance. While screens may be part of our everyday lives, and access to them is more prevalent than ever before, it is important that we remember to put down the electronics and enjoy the hear and now. We all fall into the trap of viewing important events through our screens, since we want to capture every adorable second. Corine Dehghanpisheh’s book #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, reminds us to put down the phones and enjoy the moment!

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#BabyLove: My Toddler Life tells the story of a little boy who loves to play with his mother. They read books and color, all of which his mom captures on her phone. When the little boy finds his mom’s phone on a table, he takes it and starts snapping pictures of himself. After his mom catches him, they look through the photos together and discover that the most precious memories are the times they have spent together.

The inspiration behind the book

I had the opportunity to talk to the author about her motivation behind writing this story and what she hopes parents will take away from it.

What inspired you to write this book? 

My life experiences as a mom and aunt mixed with a little imagination inspired this second book in the #BabyLove book series. The ideas for #BabyLove: My Toddler Life came from the interactions that I experienced with my nieces and nephews and smartphones.

I often find this on my camera roll. Anyone else?

Whenever the kids had the opportunity to grab a phone, they would take it and run. Sometimes we caught them. Other times we found hundreds of selfies and videos on our phones left there for our viewing pleasure.

I quickly realized that it’s not only important to find balance with technology but to help kids understand their relationship with it as well.

Why do you think this is an important topic for a children’s book?

The topic of technology, kids, and parenting is important today. Technology, smartphones, tablets, and social media are all a part of most adult’s daily life. It is also important as parents to be aware of their interactions with technology and then realize it’s effects on their kids.

How did you decide to start writing children’s books? 

I have always been creative – writing and drawing for as long as I can remember. Writing children’s books is something I always wanted to do. While in grad school, we had a project that included writing and illustrating a children’s book about Art Therapy which was the foundation for my first children’s book Can We Play Again?  I enjoyed the process tremendously and continued to create more books. I love it.

Extending the Message

This book has an important message for families. There are several fun activities you can also do as a family to go along with this book. 

Draw Your Favorite Memories – Using the printable frame, draw some of your favorite memories together. You can also encourage kids to draw things that they would like to do together or an adventure they would like to pretend to go on. You could also create an album of places you would like to go and experiences you would like to have, and then make plans to live them out!

Scrapbook – Put all of those photos to good use! Instead of just keeping all of those photos on your phone, create a family scrapbook together! You can set out papers, art supplies and printed photos and encourage everyone in the family to help. You can have even more fun flipping through the scrapbook together than huddled around a small phone. Plus, you will be making new memories while creating together!

Electronics Time Out – Plan a specific time of day or a few nights each week, where you put all of the electronics into a communal area or basket. This can include phones, tablets, game systems, etc. Have everyone put their electronics into the basket and sit down together to eat a meal, play a game, plan a vacation, or anything else your family enjoys doing.

This is a very cute book with a very important message for kids and parents alike. We could all use a reminder to put the phones down and live our lives without screens. Enter below for a chance to win your own copy of #BabyLove: My Toddler Life!

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  • Carrie Ford-Coates

    May 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm Reply

    This is great! My toddler loves taking selfies too! I actually did take a bunch of digital photos and made a photo book. I did this last year for Father’s Day gift.

    • Vicki

      May 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm Reply

      Aw, that is a great idea!

  • Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries

    May 15, 2017 at 2:38 pm Reply

    I try to make sure my daughter isn’t in front of a screen too much – books always win out over screen time in our house 🙂

    • Vicki

      May 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm Reply

      Here too! We have books in every room so she always has them around, and more often than not, that is what she chooses. It makes me feel better about her having screen time when I know she prefers reading!

  • Adriana

    May 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm Reply

    Love the idea of an electronics time out! I’ll definitely be trying this one out!

    • Vicki

      May 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm Reply

      I think it’s so hard for us to remember, but so important!

  • Carrie Ostergard

    May 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm Reply

    My 6yr old loves taking Selfies too. Its insane how quick they learn electronics. I am definitely a mom whos like tablets up tv off outside.

    • Vicki

      May 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm Reply

      It is crazy how fast they pick it up! I agree it is so important to put them down and get outside!

  • Heidi

    May 16, 2017 at 7:19 am Reply

    Very true. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Amanda

    May 16, 2017 at 7:27 am Reply

    Aw what a great book! Every kid loves selfies! I absolutely love seeing the photos they take…my last album is from when my one daughter got her hair cut…the other was taking photos the whole time! Sweet memories!

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm Reply

      Haha. I love seeing my daughter figuring out how it works. She just discovered Siri can say her name, which has become a whole new adventure!

  • Brittany

    May 16, 2017 at 8:14 am Reply

    What an awesome book. So important to unplug and spend time with our children! Its what they need! Thanks for sharing! 💕

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm Reply

      I agree! It is so easy for us to get caught up in the electronics since they are all around us!

  • Jessica Peresta

    May 16, 2017 at 9:37 am Reply

    My kids watch TV and play games on the computer, but we are definitely sure to make time to read several books, play, color, and get lots of outside time. Great post!

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm Reply

      Thank you! I agree everything in moderation. My daughter loves the few TV shows she watches and she has learned a lot from them! I also like to make sure that it doesn’t take up the majority of her day, and I’m thrilled when she would prefer to be reading or playing outside!

  • Viktoria

    May 16, 2017 at 12:21 pm Reply

    I love electronic time outs! My mom makes us do it every time we come to visit

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm Reply

      It’s so simple, but we often forget to do it!

  • Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor

    May 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm Reply

    This book sounds great! My girls love playing with phones and tablets as well. In a time where we can always be connected to something sometimes it’s hard to be present. So I love the idea of Electronics Time Out. This is something we will have to do in our house.

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm Reply

      It is so easy for us to forget about unplugging! With so much technology available it is easy for us to get swept away in it!

  • Amanda Rinehart

    May 16, 2017 at 2:29 pm Reply

    I hadn’t really had trouble with “screen time” until my son turned about 6 and now he LOVES video games. It’s been a battle to limit his time in front of them ever since. I’m still working on a system.

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm Reply

      There is so much available to kids nowadays, it’s hard to compete with it!

  • rachel

    May 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm Reply

    Super cute message! And you’d totally find something similar on my camera roll. LOL

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm Reply

      Haha, they do it so fast it’s hard to catch them!

  • Hanna

    May 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm Reply

    I think technology is such a great thing. There are so many opportunities and great things that it brings – but I do also agree that too much of a good thing can be too much.

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm Reply

      I agree! I want my daughter to have access to technology because there are some great things available and not knowing about it could be a disadvantage someday, but everything in moderation for sure!

  • Rochelle

    May 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm Reply

    This book sounds great. We do get too reliant on technology.

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm Reply

      It is a really good reminder for families!

  • Caitlin Patoka

    May 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm Reply

    I love the idea of the electronics time out! We will be implementing this as my house!

    • Vicki

      May 16, 2017 at 9:07 pm Reply

      It’s so helpful to step away from all the technology every once in a while!

  • Nakeya

    May 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm Reply

    I hate to admit it, but my 8 month old love taking selfies and already knows how to swipe on her tablet. But we are now having days away from electronics so can doesn’t become addicted to screens.

    • Vicki

      May 17, 2017 at 12:07 pm Reply

      It’s so hard to keep them away from electronics! I tried to keep my daughter away from them, but came to realize it was bound to happen. We have as much screen free time as possible, but when she does engage with screens, I try to remind myself that she will have to know how to use them when she gets to school!

  • Jasmine Hewitt

    May 17, 2017 at 12:48 am Reply

    this is such a wonderful book! we have it and my son loved the illustrations!

    • Vicki

      May 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm Reply

      They are really cute illustrations!

  • Maria

    May 17, 2017 at 10:41 am Reply

    This sounds like a really awesome book to start in toddlers years. There should be more books like these that’ll engage children so they too can get the idea of what it means to have balance. Because Lord knows i say it to my 8 yr old and all I get are *sighs that sound like I’m talking out of my butt. 😒
    Thanks for sharing this. xo, Maria

    • Vicki

      May 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm Reply

      Haha, I agree! Balance is important to teach at a young age. They will have more technology in their lives than we can even imagine!

  • liz Cleland

    May 17, 2017 at 6:22 pm Reply

    I loved reading to my toddler!

  • jhilmil

    May 18, 2017 at 12:27 am Reply

    Ahh… you caught the nerve at the right point.. SO important to have this.. I have also recently written a post on reading in kids, which I’ll publish coming week:)

  • Stephanie

    May 18, 2017 at 7:19 am Reply

    I love this! Such an important topic nowadays. We limit electronics as is but we also do the time out spontaneously and have an impromptu family night.

    • Vicki

      May 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm Reply

      That’s awesome! It’s so important to have that family time without the added distraction!

  • Sirri

    May 18, 2017 at 9:20 am Reply

    My toddler loooves to grab my phone. WhileI do love his selfies we have tried to limit all phone time. Even mommy!

    • Vicki

      May 18, 2017 at 12:47 pm Reply

      It is amazing how quickly they become attached to them! My daughter assumes everyone’s phone has photos of her on them, so she likes to ask to see them!

  • Ash

    May 19, 2017 at 10:55 am Reply

    It is scary how digital the world is becoming! We limit our 3yr old to an hour of time on her tablet a day and it only has kid friendly games and books on it. Even then, I think that’s too much some days. When the weather gets nicer we may knock the time down to 30min instead.

    • Vicki

      May 19, 2017 at 12:43 pm Reply

      I totally agree! I try really hard to not let my daughter get too caught up in the electronics. When she does get some time on them, I try to remind myself that they will have more technology in their lives than we have had, so it will help them to be comfortable and familiar with it!

  • Kayla Nigro

    May 24, 2017 at 10:56 am Reply

    This is a great topic for you to bring to light. Event though my LO is only 4 months old, I do my best to not be on my phone or computer when I’m spending time with him. I want to encourage fun in other ways than technology! Thanks for sharing!

    • Vicki

      May 24, 2017 at 12:18 pm Reply

      It’s so easy to get swept up in it and forget that kids mimic everything we do! I tried to keep screens to a minimum when my daughter was an infant too.

  • Innana

    May 24, 2017 at 9:48 pm Reply

    My Son is getting to the point where he throws a tantrum if we take the phone away from him. It’s very frustrating but I am doing my best to lay down the law around here. I just want him to use his imagination and play the way we did when we were growing up and not rely constantly on a bright screen.

    • Vicki

      May 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm Reply

      I agree! It’s so hard to get them to understand why screen time has to be limited! I want to make sure that my daughter has memories of her childhood other than playing on screens!

  • Kate A

    June 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm Reply

    We recently cut my oldest’s screen time way back, and have noticed his behavior improve when we made the change. Definitely plan to keep that in place, and hope to keep the little one on minimal screen time as well.

    • Vicki

      June 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm Reply

      It can be so hard to find a balance! Luckily now that the weather is getting nicer, we can get outside more.

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