I’m guilty of doing this. On more than one occasion. While waiting for my kids to get out of preschool, I’ll wait outside the door checking emails on my phone. There are some times when my kids run out with a big smile on their face yelling, “mommyyyyyyy” and I try to multi-task and greet them while still reading the email. I’m not proud of it. Now that I put more thought into it, I’m actually kind of ashamed that I do it.
While no one has ever confronted me about being on my phone, I’m sure there are others that have noticed. One daycare in Houston, Texas has taken noticed of the increase in parents attention focused more on their phone than on their children and they want those parents to know that they’ve had enough.
Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz posted the photo below on her Facebook page on January 27 and it’s gone viral. The post has been shared more than 1.3 million times and has gained more than 10,000 comments. The post, which has gained national attention, has garnered some mixed emotions from parents.
“This is honestly one of the most disgustingly judgmental things I have ever seen! How dare you judge a parent? How do you know they’re not on their phone dealing with a sick family member or a deadline at work? How do you know that they’re not on the phone with a lawyer trying to get themselves and their children out of a bad domestic situation? How do you know they’re not already on thin ice with work because they leave half an hour early to be there to pick their child up from daycare?! I fully agree that the time you have with your children is precious, but I didn’t grow up to resent my mother because she was on the phone when she dropped me off and picked me up from school. Why? Because usually that phone call helped ensure we had food on the table and a roof over my head. Get off your God damn high horse because believe me, these parents don’t want to be on their phones when they pick up their kids, but a little bit of good grace, kindness, and understanding might mean that the call is over in the car and the parent can go home, help the kid with homework and make dinner because the call was made at 4:30, not 7pm! Parenting is hard enough these days. It is not the place of a paid employee to be commenting unless the child is being neglected or in danger. Enough! “ said one woman.
While another is in favor of the sign. “Agreed! Your children are more important than your phone! Spend every minute focusing on them because before you know it they will be grown up and gone!”
While I don’t necessarily agree with the approach this daycare is taking (we are paying them to take care of our children while we are at work,) I do think parents (myself included) should take note of this sign and put our phone away while we greet our children after not seeing them all day. Sure the work is important, the emails need to be answered, but they don’t need to be done right that minute. It can wait. Your child cannot.