Get Off Your Damn Phone - The M Word

Get Off Your Damn Phone

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A crèche in Texas put a simple note on the window of their childcare facility asking parents to basically ‘Get off their phone’ and greet their children accordingly. This note went viral very quickly and it had such a profound affect that even ABC news in the US covered a story on it, and caused the message to spread to a much wider audience. If you google get off your phone the Texas crèche is the first story you will read.

So will it have the profound effect worldwide? I really hope so. This new epidemic of technology is taking the place of simple parenting it is actually quite disturbing. We are all guilty of letting it seep into our everyday lives.

When we were kids our parents did not arrive into the school yard with mobile phones stuck to their ears. If they did they would have had to carry them on their shoulders! But this is all I see nowadays parents strolling into the school yard phone stuck to their ear and walk out in the same fashion. All communication is done through a nod, a hand wave, a quick smile to acknowledge someone they know, no conversation. It is becoming an epidemic, people. I would not have noticed it so much only a friend brought it to my attention now its wrecking my head.

texas creche letter

I know life is so busy; and it is showing little signs of slowing down at all. We live our lives at such a different pace than when we were children. And we make the excuse that it does not give us many opportunities to slow down take a breath and experience those rare and special little moments. These moments are so important. These moments are our children’s childhood. If we do not embrace them our children will remember that we did not listen that time. We never dramatized our delight about that picture. We never praised that school homework. Or that smiley face sticker teacher gave them for good work.

I really want this article, this message to resonate with parents and make them realize how important these meet and greets are. Why? This is why. Picture this scene, be warned it will break your heart as it did a friend of mine. My friend is the one who witnessed this and brought it to my attention and really made me think about it.

A beautiful little happy excited vibrant girl lining up all excited to see Mum and show her the art work she made. She no doubt has being bursting since teacher put that masterpiece in her hand to show Mum. So the Junior and Senior infants line up and are collected in turn by the parent’s guardians etc. This little girl is dancing from foot to foot waiting for her turn to high five her teacher, and be greeted by Mum. I wonder has she already noticed Mums attention is elsewhere?

The little girls turn is finally here and she runs to her Mum excitedly shouting ‘look, look at my picture Mum’ putting the picture high enough for Mum to see because Mum is looking elsewhere. The little girl has not given up and tries again but the response is heart breaking.

‘Will you ever shut up I am on the phone’! was her Mothers reply. Heart breaking.

Now I did not witness the incident itself but as a Mum of an excited 5-year-old who collects her child every day from school I could only imagine the dispirited and disheartened deflated way that little girl felt at that precise moment. Mum was on her phone not sure if it was work or pleasure but one thing is for sure she has created a moment for that child that just might stick. I am sure it upset a lot of parents within the vicinity as I know my friend was broken heartened and sickened by the behavior. So much so she asked me to write about it and bring it to the attention of all busy mums and Dads.

Two minutes will not lose you a contract or a friend. You will never get that time back again when your children actually want you.

Maybe we should have a show of hands for the banning mobile phones in the school yard and actually communicate with each other our kids and the teachers.


Louise O’Gorman
Louise O’Gorman
I am a stay at home Mum and part time writer of articles and short stories. I am a fiercely independent forty something who spends her days massaging the ego of three young children. Only so I can create genius’s so I can retire and live the high life. Married to my childhood sweetheart the foundation to most of my happiness, on a good day the kids fill the rest of the happiness jar.