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Parents struggle to set boundaries with smartphone usage

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Experts say by setting boundaries at home for yourself, you're also sending a message to your children. (WLS)

Could your smartphone actually be making life harder?

Experts believe that by setting boundaries at home for yourself, you are also sending a message to your children-and you can expect to see a response.

The kids will notice that you are spending a little more time with them, and a little less time with your digital device.

For Rebecca Gruenspan, a single mom, the work never stops. Between raising her son and running two businesses, it's hard to strike balance, and her smartphone makes it even tougher.

"I'm trying to get a little bit better because it really affects our relationship and sometimes he'll even say mom put that down," said Gruenspan.

It's a delicate dance with our digital devices.

"As soon as I get home, it's time to get dinner ready, it's time to get the clothes out for tomorrow, it's time to get them to bed," said Tiffany Brooks, a mother of two.

Smartphones are the link to work we can't ignore.

"It feels like an addiction," said Cara Dorn, vice president at Robert Half. "You want to reach for the phone, you want to make sure you're connected, that you're responsive."

Dorn, a mother of two, points out that this struggle does not just happen at home.

"Think about walking into meeting and there's maybe 10 of you sitting around a conference room there's a few minutes before the meeting starts just picture that what is everyone doing there all looking at their smart phones right?" said Dorn.

John Challenger sees a bigger problem.

"We are constantly recharging the batteries of all these devices but we're not taking the time to recharge our own batteries," Challenger said.

Dr. Michael Kauf, a chiropractor, said battery drain is taking a toll on our bodies. It's called text neck.

"When you have reversal of the cervical curve, when the head starts to go forward you compress the discs between each vertebrae and over time those discs will wear away," said Dr. Kauf.

For hard-working parents like Rebecca Gruenspan, it's becoming too much.

"On any given day at any given moment people can be trying to connect with me five different ways all through technology it's all overwhelming. It's really overwhelming," Gruenspan said.

Dorn has some advice for working parents who must be plugged in 24/7.

"Don't worry about responding tonight," she said. "Take time to be with your family."

Put the phone away until the kids go to bed. Set boundaries. Tell your coworkers that you are off the grid until morning.

"Even if he's playing I should be present with him or play with him," Gruenspan said. "I'm really making a conscious effort to do that."
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