How to Bless Your Wife and Kids with This One Action

Can you eliminate this one unimportant distraction for one month?

I recently made the decision to turn off all the notifications on my cell phone. I just reached the point where I was overwhelmed. No matter what time of day, no matter what I was doing, and no matter where I was I just kept getting interrupted.

How to Bless Your Wife and Kids with This One Action | - Growing Family Leaders

Notifications distracted me from everything—from work, from my family, and even from myself. I learned that removing them is a great way to bless your wife and kids.

It takes action to bless your wife and kids

I got the idea from my friend Eric Dingler at Family Life University. Much like myself, Eric is someone who wants to be the best family leader he can be.

He takes a very intentional approach when it comes to spending time and being present with his wife Marissa and their kids. But when I heard he was so serious about it that he removed all work-related apps from his phone, I was like, “WHOA!”

I never knew how distracted I was

I wasn’t sure if I could go that far, but I knew I needed to do something. So, project “removal of all phone notifications began.” I call it a project because it wasn’t as simple as going to Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. I started there, and thought I was done, but it seemed every day I’d get some type of notification.

Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. I’d remove them, and a couple days later it would be LinkedIn, YouTube, and WordPress! I even got a notification from my Bible app alerting me of a new Bible app for kids, which I had already downloaded.

It seemed every day for a week I’d receive a new notification from an app I didn’t even realize I was getting notifications from. I was completely bombarded with notifications, practically 24/7.

Even if I just cleared the notification, it interrupted my train of thought, the conversation I was having, and my overall flow for just a few seconds. And if I did open the notification, off down the rabbit hole I went.

What a difference maker

Now, with basically zero notifications—I still get text messages, and something tells me there is some obscure app about to notify me of something—I can honestly say my life is so much more peaceful!

I get work projects done faster, and better. I am fully present with my wife and kids. And I have not missed a thing.

You can do it too, no you SHOULD do it too

When I log onto those apps at the end of my day, or when I have a free minute to surf, I get bombarded with messages. But I find that most of them aren’t very important, and I gravitate to the few that are. It has changed the game for me.

Removing all phone notifications can do the same for you, too. I encourage you to do, no, I CHALLENGE you to do so.

Your family over your phone (notifications)

I know if you are here reading my site, then you probably have a family, and you really want to have the best relationship you can with them. You want to bless your wife and kids. Eliminating unimportant distractions like cell phone notifications is one major step you can take to do that.

So, here is what I want you to do…

For the rest of this month, I want you to remove all notifications from your phone. Try it and see what happens. When the month ends, if you want to turn some of them back on, do so. But my guess is you will feel so free, so not distracted, and relate so much better to your family that you won’t want to turn them back on. I know that is exactly how I feel.

Question: Will you take the challenge and turn off your cell phone notifications for one month? If you’ve done this or you’re planning to do it, share your experience. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

photo credit: Johan Larsson via photopin cc

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11 thoughts on “How to Bless Your Wife and Kids with This One Action

  1. Really good word! I find myself needing to have these times. We can’t get consumed or distracted to the point that we miss out on the family we’re building for.

  2. Hey Jackie,
    Yes, the information age has become the “distraction age.” Much like the blessing that turned into a curse. I have noticed the same thing. About a year ago I turned my notifications off as well. I wasn’t getting 100s of them, but enough to drive me crazy. So I turned off the notifications as well as the wifi feature unless I needed to do something online for a moment.

    When I’m with my family I don’t check my phone unless a text comes through. If it’s somebody that needs a quick reply (like my impatient mother 🙂 ) then I would reply, otherwise, the text will wait.
    My family needs to know that I value them more than my peeps on my cell phone. Funny thing is, that now I have three older children (20 and 24) who have their own phones with a busy text distraction. When we eat, go out or are talking, they get teased by their siblings (and sometimes yelled at) if they answer their texts…lol… The person on the other end of the phone may be important but not as important as my family – unless an emergency has occur.

    As a Pastor I have to stay reachable, but thank God I don’t get too many emergencies.
    Thanks for the great challenge.

  3. A fantastic tip! My daughter is almost 3 years old. I put my phone on silent when we went into the hospital to have her and I haven’t taken it off since. I love the fact that my kids don’t know what daddy’s cell phone sounds like!

    • That is awesome, Paul!! I’m loving it, and have no plans on going back.

      I love what you said: “I love the fact that my kids don’t know what daddy’s cell phone sounds like!”

      I hope my kids will eventually forget what daddy’s cell phone sounds like. 🙂

  4. I must have everything turned off because the only notifications I get are text, phone, and calendar. Not email, not any other social apps, and I didn’t even miss it! 🙂 Good word, Jackie!

  5. I just heard recently in a podcast episode of Mac Power Users, that the average smartphone user gets over 50,000 notifications a year from their phone. How I ever use to get anything done….oh wait….I didn’t get nearly as much done as I do now. Way to go! And, thanks for the shout out.