Have we become so in-tuned to our phone ring and bing, it defeats our child’s plea for attention?
There was a recent story on mobile phones being banned from use in a USA Daycare centre when parents are collecting their child. The outrage this caused was extraordinary. Should we ban phones from being taken into childcare centres when parents pickup their child?
The reason given was the staff felt the children were often being ignored by parents too engrossed in their phone conversations or text messages they disregarded their excited children who ran to greet them excitedly. Parents were seen to ignore the proud work the child was trying to show their parent. This distressed childcare staff so much they placed a sign advising parents not to bring their phone into the centre when collecting their child.
What is concerning about this is the outrage some parents felt at being encouraged to be a responsible and attentive parent.
Is it a good idea for all childcare centres and daycares to use this rule preventing parents entering the service with a phone? Is it reasonable to encourage a parent to provide a few minutes of undivided attention to their child?
We have many coffee shops refusing to serve customers while talking on their phones when ordering, we have legislation prohibiting mobile phone use in public swimming pools, but we have no requirement for daycare centres.
Child care centres care for young children under the age of six years. They have open and public bathroom areas that parents can walk past and see when a child is using the toilet. Parents have free access to all children running around in the centre. Parents may not be aware of children who are there under child protection orders yet all parents are permitted to walk in with active phones that all have cameras and video options.
I wonder if we should consider prohibiting all phone devices coming into childcare centres not only for the focus on your own child but the possibility of photographs and videos being taken of other children enrolled in the service?
Should we not go along with our regulations at swim centres?
I wonder what the outrage was about when the staff politely requested parents concentrate on their child instead of their phone device when collecting their child?
I believe most parents would understand the necessity of giving their child this attentiveness, yet find it disturbing there seems to be a small minority so furious and angry at such a simple request. “Please pay attention to your excited little one who has missed you all day and is excited to see you,” how is this wrong?
We witness children in parks being allowed to play without adequate parent supervision by parents engaged in their phone. We have multiple incidents of child drowning sometimes due to the failure of attention due to the phone or social media posts. Are we teaching our children the importance of a phone device over them? Are we more in tuned to respond to the ringtone of our phone over the cry or plea for attention from our child?
I, therefore, call on all parents and centres to follow this prodigious lead and request the same on behalf of all children spending time in care and away from their mum and dad all day. I wonder how many will?
I appeal to parents when out with their children to please Prioritise their child over their phone.
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