This article serves as something of a rant I guess. I have one question. What are all these parents doing on their phones?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m partial to wasting time browsing through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, my email, checking up on the news, reading the weather report for the seventh time in a day and blogging my rants, among other things, but I do that in a moment of solitude. I do that when little miss is fast asleep or being occupied by others. I do not do it when I am meant to be focusing my time on her. And there’s a reason for it. I don’t want to miss it! I don’t want to miss a single smile, fall, mouthful of sand or bite of tan bark. This isn’t about helicopter parenting, she can eat as much sand as she likes, this is about not wanting to miss one moment of the fleeting time I have with my little girl. So what is everyone else doing?
I go to the park with my little girl frequently. More often than not I see parents on their phones, and they’re not taking pictures with it, they’re entrenched in browsing through commentary on The Bachelor, checking that eBay auction or, I don’t know what. And I don’t care. Stop! One day you’ll wake up and your little one won’t be so little, and you will have missed it.
I’m not a Luddite, I love my iPhone, I’m just someone who believes that when you spend time with someone – child or not – you should focus your full attention on them (and I’m as guilty as anyone of sometimes checking my phone while I’m out socially, but I hold myself to a higher standard when it comes to my behaviour around my child). I even extended this to my partner. One day a week we have tech-free Tuesday, a night where there are no televisions on, no laptops, no phones, just conversation with each other. It can be excruciating (especially when you’re halfway through a season of Parks and Recreation), but we do it. Other self-imposed rules I have include not being on my phone around my child unless I have a text message, or someone else is occupying her. I don’t want her to compete for my attention with a phone. How ridiculous!
As I joyously push my daughter on the swing and watch other parents miss the sheer pleasure of watching their children make friends, swing from monkey bars and, yes, eat dirt, I can’t help but wonder whether people’s memories of their children are going to be limited to the Instagram pics they posted along the way. It breaks my heart. So, get off your phone, you’re missing it!
Next: Five things I didn’t expect when I returned to work
Well said!! #twinklytuesday x
Some excellent points here, however (and I’ve blogged about it quite recently), I am often one of those parents. I’m not on FB or anything though – I would be checking emails etc, as a work at home mum I have no choice but to work around the kids. I’m lucky enough to be able to be at home with them, and take them to the park, but I also can’t afford to not be working either, and sometimes I have to do both at the same time!
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Oh for gods sake get off your high horse. This is one of the most pious posts I have read in a while. ‘Everyone else around me is missing their kids childhood except me because I’m perfect, blah blah blah…’
People on their phones may be trying to juggle raising their kids with work, catching up on a few emails, trying to organise their online food shop, pay some bills etc etc. Or maybe, shock horror, they are having a moment to themselves while their little one is happily playing, which is perfectly healthy. And anyway, who is to say that they don’t have one eye on what their child is doing? It’s called multi-tasking. Intelligent people can do more than one thing at a time.
I totally agree with you! When they’re sleeping then do what you want but when they want to play, why are people on their phones?! #twinklytuesday
Great rant! So true as well! #TwinklyTuesday
I do sometimes find myself messing around on my phone when I’m with the kids. In fact I have a post about this in my drafts! I sometimes know I do it when I shouldn’t but other times are grey areas like today I was sitting on the sofa with one cuddled up on each side of me- they were watching rescue bots and I was writing a blog post…..is that bad? I find rescue bots quite dull! It’s hard to regulate phone use and to set an acceptable level of use around our kids. #twinklytuesday
Well pointed out… I also find myself surprised at the amount of parents glued to the phone, and missing out on playing with their kids….
This is what I have been doing a lot lately! COncentrating on my son. Can I admit that before I am a parent who always looks at her phone. But I feel that I need to spend real time with my son so blogging took a backseat this month for me.
It’s for fear of exactly this that I haven’t invested in a smartphone… although my lack of such is really starting to annoy some of my friends. Thanks for being part of #TwinklyTuesday!