The phone used to be a tool that we used to communicate with others.   But it has become so much more. And as the abilities of the mobile phone have increased it seems to have become a societal problem.  We say it distracts us and is a waste of time, and we wish for the days long gone when people connected with the people around them.

 

When we start to criticise the mobile phone we are more often than not meaning social media or gaming – but the phone is far, far more.  And if we are to manage the phone in our pocket well – we have to acknowledge that.

 

How do you use your phone?  What tasks do you want your phone to do for you?  

 

  • I listen to music & podcasts, and read digital books
  • I read my Bible and keep my journal
  • I keep my shopping list, and my to-do list for housework
  • I take photos and videos
  • I share on social media
  • I manage accounts and pay bills
  • I use the dictionary, calculator and timer
  • I check my calendar and am reminded of appointments
  • I manage my to-do list
  • I write myself notes

 

The phone is far more than a phone these days.

 

I see three areas where we use the phone:  social, recreational and productive. The rules we have for our self, or our kids, needs to take these three spheres of life and useage into account.  The principle that guides us in using the phone well is: Doing the right thing at the right time in the right way.  When we do this – regardless of if we are talking about social media, watching video clips or making business calls we are able to balance the use of the phone with living a full life.

The Problem isn’t with the Mobile Phone

 

When we start to see these three areas of life where we use the phone (social, recreational, productive) it starts to be clear that the phone is not our problem.  The real problem lays at us not managing our spheres of life well. While we are supposed to be spending time with family (social) we watch a video (recreational) on our phone.  While we watch a movie, we connect with our to-do list on our phone. While we are out playing sport we talk to our friends on our phone. This is about blurring our spheres and not managing our time well.  The phone is the tool we use – but the heart of the matter is – we are not doing the right thing at the right time in the right way.

 

The danger with becoming used to this level of connectivity is that we get comfortable with taking work into the home environment, and along with that we take the home environment into the workplace.  We find ourselves multi-tasking – all day. We balance all our spheres of life like a juggler at the circus. One day one of those balls is going to drop. We won’t be doing our best in any sphere: we won’t be working at our best, we won’t be strengthening our relationships or finding true rest to our body, mind, and spirit – in the best way.

 

When we blur the different spheres in our life (which the cell phone makes it easier to do) we find ourselves living an overstimulated life.  We are always on the go – because we can. We are always seeking input be it affirmation, information or inspiration – all easily found via our connectivity via the phone.  There is no white space in our life.

 

For us to balance all our spheres of life well – we need to keep the spheres separate – doing the right thing at the right time.  Sometimes that will mean using our mobile phone, and other times it means putting it down so we can do what needs to be done without it.

 

The Phone is not at Fault

When we feel that the mobile phone is a distraction from the things that we really want in our life our first reaction is to blame the phone or put the phone away.  We put it in another room or put it on the recharger or possibly get rid of it all together. Many parents make this decision for their teens so that the juggling act doesn’t even begin in their life.  But the mobile phone is more than a telephone that fits in our pocket. The mobile phone has become a major tool in how we live our life – and maybe it being in another room won’t help us with other areas of our life.  It might stop the distraction from the pings of messages coming in – but it means we don’t hear the reminder for the appointment we have to get to, or have the reading we need to complete an assignment.

 

If the key is to use the right tool at the right time to do the right task – then when the phone is being misused – it isn’t the phone’s fault, it is our own heart that needs to be readjusted.

 

What is going on in your heart?  Why do you pick up the phone to do something that you shouldn’t be doing at that time?  Why can you not put it down? These are the questions we should ask before we make a plan to get control of the phone in our life.

 

  • Am I avoiding responsibility?
  • Am I seeking people’s approval?
  • Am I addicted to fun and pleasure?
  • Am I not balancing the spheres of my life well?

 

The phone is just a tool and it can help you do the things you want or it can help you do the things you don’t really want to do – or at least know in your heart that you shouldn’t be doing at that time.  The phone is just the tool – the heart is what makes our choices.

 

Time for some Heart Work

Just as parents train their children to be obedient, respectful, responsible etc – we may have to put ourselves through some heart training when it comes to our mobile phone.

 

What is it that drives you to be on your phone doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time?  When you can honestly answer that question you will know what changes you need to address.

 

A few ideas you may need to consider:  self control, thoroughness, diligence, self-acceptance/self-respect, honesty, or punctuality.  All these virtues affect how we use the phone in some way.

There is never only one way to train the heart.  The issue for you will be different than the issue in my heart.  Here is a quick summary of how to address heart issues:

  1. Recognise behaviour that you don’t want in your life
  2. Acknowledge what is going on in the heart – what is motivating the behaviour.
  3. Decide what belief or value is not in action, and is needed for different/better behaviour.
  4. Create a plan to develop or grow in that belief or value – this may include practical restrictions as you grow stronger

 

You may need some extra help

The heart is the place where we hold and process the things that we believe and value.  Sometimes though it takes time, and practice, to match our actions with our beliefs. So while you are growing in self-control, diligence, wisdom etc – you may need some physical boundaries to give you the space to work on your heart.

 

  • You may need to put time constraints on your phone or put it away altogether.
  • You may need to cancel some social media accounts.
  • You may need to find another way to do your task, not involving digital technology.
  • You may need to delete some games or cancel a subscription to movies.
  • You may need to ask someone to help you be accountable.

 

The combination of changed values in your heart and changed habits will mean that you will be able to control the use of your phone and use it for its fullest purposes – and that is a good thing!

Do you need help in your Family?

Hi! I’m Belinda

About Me

Belinda and her husband, Peter, live in the far north-west of Australia on a small farm. They have four adult children whom they homeschooled from prep-year 12. Over this time Belinda has taught and supported women both face to face and online. Her heart is to encourage families to be intentional, relational and heart focused in all areas of family living. She continues to do this in her new season of life – as her kids leave home one by one leaving her with more time.

Certified Life Coach

Over to you:

How does seeing the three different ways we use the phone help you to give value to the mobile phone in your life, or your husband’s life or your teen’s life?

 

And secondly, how does seeing the heart issues behind the phone usage enable you to deal with issues in your home regarding the phone?

1 Comment

  1. Priscilla

    I really enjoyed this article, Belinda. It is thoughtful and well-written.

    Reply

Let me know your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Building Family Resilience in a World of Technology:  Our family does not need to be a victim to social media – parents can create a healthy resilience in their family when it comes to technology.

 

 

Don’t Trust in Rules: Legalism vs. Heart:  Don’t trust in rules – it just leads to legalism. Instead we need to trust in Jesus which will bring life and truth to our kids’ hearts.

 

 

Why we Bring our Devices to the Dinner Table:  There is a reason why we would bring our mobile devices to the family dinner table – we have purpose and guidelines.

 

 

How I use Google Calendar for my Digital Homemakers Binder:  I have discovered Google Calendar as a way to make a digital homemaker’s binder – no more heavy binder to carry, and no more pieces of paper to print off!

The mobile phone is often a distraction but what do we really need to change? Consider why you use the phone and then consider what to change.
Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Be Intentional

 

To be an intentional parent means you need to know what you want for your family, and think about how you are going to get there. 

Sign up for weekly emails that help you reach your goals for your family.

You have now subscribed and will begin to receive weekly emails.

Three things for parents to pray for in the Moment.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Hearts: Heart focus homeschool

Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

Stay Heart Focused

 

When you parent the heart, the tone of your family will change. 


Weekly Heart Boost emails with practical and encouraging ideas to be heart focused in all areas of family life.

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your family journey. I'll be in touch.

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Parenting Support Library

Join now for extra and regular heart focus family living support.
Weekly emails and bonus content straight to your email inbox.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Become a Better Parent

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Devotion Response Kit cover

Download your Devotion Response Kit

5 prompts to encourage the heart of your child as they learn to respond to God's Word

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Prepare a Heart focused Christmas

 

Free email course

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Join Heart Boost and gain access to de•vot•ed free for 1 month

 

Connecting everyday living with the Word of God

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

%d bloggers like this: