Digital Wellness

Jason Kelce Shares A Parenting Struggle That’s All Too Relatable

He’s just like us!

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 18: Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on in the second...
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While Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift continue to strengthen their hold on the pop-culture zeitgeist, it's easy to see that Jason Kelce is the more interesting of the two footballing brothers. If nothing else, the guy is just more relatable. In the documentary Kelce, he is the active father who spends his off days making blanket forts with his daughters, for example.

On the most recent episode of New Heights With Jason and Travis Kelce, Jason continued this streak, admitting something to which nearly all modern parents can relate: He feels bad when his kids point out how distracted he gets by his phone.

In response to a fan question about his favorite five apps, the father of three offered a surprisingly strong response: "I would have no apps, and I would throw my phone into a volcano of magma because I hate how much I'm on my phone. I hate everything to do with my phone. I'm addicted to it, I can't stand it," he said. "I like the amount of knowledge that it brings, but I hate the amount of distraction it brings."

That love-hate relationship has a lot to do with how his kids respond when they call him out for getting lost in the digital abyss.

"I hate when my kid tells me to put down my phone, because it lets me know how bad of a parent I'm being. 'Daddy, put down your phone' — do you know how much that cuts into your soul and lets you know how shitty of a parent you're being?" he continued.

"Next time she says that, can you just screenshot what you're looking at," Travis asked his brother, with a chuckle.

"It's going to be nonsense. No, it'll probably be a crossword puzzle on the New York Times, because I do love those for some reason," Jason replied.

While Jason is a dedicated father whose parenting skills are frequently on display in Kelce and on the show, his conflicted relationship with his phone makes a lot of sense in light of previous reporting from Fatherly.

A recent study indicated that parents who were experiencing more psychological stress tended to use screens more often, especially to unwind. It also found that parents who used their phones to retreat and relax struggled to enforce healthy boundaries — when absorbed in their phones, they disciplined inconsistently, changing the rules depending on their mood, yelled at kids and nagged them about little things, as well as sometimes saying mean things to make a child feel bad.

With Kelce’s Philadelphia Eagles team struggling to find wins at the end of a season where they were expected to contend for an NFL title and rumors about his retirement swirling, it’s easy to see the appeal of digital distractions. While the lives of professional athletes can often feel detached from the reality of most parents, his particular struggle with how technology affects family engagement is one many of us can totally relate to.