Controlling Distractions


It’s amazing how much we can learn from our children if we just stop and pay attention.  My teenage son Eric is in the midst of a big two weeks.  On Saturday, he competed in the first half of our county’s Academic Decathlon competition and it will finish off next Saturday with a day full of tests and the “superquiz”.

Eric’s already a pretty busy guy, performing in three different music ensembles at school and balancing a host of other activities.  How he manages it all, I’m not sure – at seventeen he’s already a master of personal productivity.  Sometimes it’s not pretty, but the kids definitely “gets things done”.

So this week, Eric has declared a self-imposed moratorium on Facebook.  He knows he’s going to need extra time for study this week, and sees the distraction that his favorite online playground can be mentally and timewise.

I’m wondering how many of us, anticipating a week of big projects or deadlines, would have the mental focus to declare our Facebook status to be: “is going a week without Facebook, starting right now” as Eric has.  We reward ourselves with visits to our favorite social networking sites, video games, or other time wasters for “just a few minutes as a break” and can end up more stressed than ever – I speak from personal experience here!

I’m not going to predict how long Eric will actually keep himself off of Facebook, I’m just proud of him for being mature enough to recognize the need to manage his time productively.  One of the two of us will likely be ready when it’s time for him to go off to college…


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. I must say…my son is better at weeding out these kinds of distractions than I am too! (Praise the Lord for level headed teens!)

  2. ooops~gotta say…I’m gonna get mine when my daughter reaches teen-age…she’s the one I have to ‘manage’. :~O

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