Another day, another way to shame parents. A Texas day care has gone viral due to a note they placed on their door:
To sum it up, the note says that, hey, moms and dads, shut your phone off and pay attention to your child when you pick him or her up from day care. They’re letting parents know that they’ve noticed eyes glued to phones instead of children at pickup, and this is no good, so stop it now.
On the surface, this may sound like a perfectly reasonable request. After all, it seems like people “these days” are attached to their phones on the regular and not paying attention to real life, which includes their kids. I can’t tell you how many memes, articles or general social media posts are dedicated to bemoaning the current state of our always connected society and how detrimental that is to us all.
But you know what? Moms and dads who use day care (and who are we kidding, we know this is directed at moms with the “Mommy” bit included in the note) see their provider for brief moments in time, twice a day. With such a small snapshot of a parent’s life, it’s not only wildly unfair to judge a mother in this short length of time, it’s inappropriate.
There are a hundred reasons a parent would be on her phone at day care pickup. For starters, moms who use day care are typically working moms, and with the already mentioned “always connected lifestyle” most everyone lives in, the workday doesn’t always end when we leave our places of work. Last-minute emails come through. Fires need to be put out. A mom may be ordering pizza because she’s too “over it” to cook that night. Or, OK, she may indeed be trying to finish her Candy Crush level that she started when she parked her car. So what?
The bottom line: Who cares what she’s doing on her phone? You don’t see how she interacts with her kids when they get to the car or what they do when they get home. Yes, it can be upsetting to see a parent ignoring her child, but if you go through your entire day and give your kid 100 percent of your undivided attention, then you’re probably suffering for it (and your kid isn’t learning patience and how to cope with a delay in gratification).
It’s a challenge for all of us to live in the now. It really is. At any given moment, our attention is divided in a number of different ways (and nobody is immune to this), but the last thing we need to worry about is how we’re being judged by people because we’re looking at our phones.