Oh look, another article explaining why we’re terrible parents for looking at our phones. This article is not new, but it continues to get shared.
“I can recall a time when you were out with your children you were really with them. You engaged in a back and forth dialog even if they were pre-verbal. You said, ‘Look at the bus, see the doggie, etc.’ Now I see you on the phone, pushing your kids on the swings while distracted by your devices. You think you are spending time with them but you are not present really. When I see you pick up your kids at day care while you’re on the phone, it breaks my heart.”
I get it. Be present. Don’t spend too much time on your phone. But enough with the guilt tripping-post-writing-lengthy-psychoanalysis of how we are ruining our children. I’m fairly certain the majority of parents are present, loving, nurturing people, who look at their phones for their own sanity. Because when you lose your connection to other adults, you start becoming depressed and unhappy, and at that point, you’re no good to anyone, especially not your children.
And how about those that need to look at their phone for work reasons? Should we not do that too? Unfortunately, our bills don’t pay themselves, and looking at the phone and answering emails are necessary.
I am 35, and I recall when parents used to be chatting away to friends and shoo us outside to play. I remember my parents, my friends’ parents, on the phone to some relative who lived far away, so we had to go and play while they caught up. I remember our moms and dads telling us to stay quiet while they sat in front of the tv when their favorite show came on.
And you know what? They still loved and nurtured us. The world did not end because they had a hard day at work and needed a break, or a long day at home with us and they wanted to talk to their sister in Canada.
Parents used to be distracted before the time of phones. Heck, us kids were expected to find our own fun all day long! Please, please can people stop acting like we are terrible parents and emotionally detached if we try to get some adult interaction from the device in our hands?
Nowadays, it’s so hard to find time to see people, or to just stop and have a spontaneous conversation with someone because they’re usually in a rush. Using our phones is our way of getting some time to ourselves and some much needed relief from our daily struggles.
So please stop acting like you need to throw holy water on us if we so much as look down at our phones when our kid is nearby.