Oy. There are some toddler groups out there who want to ban parents from using their phones while the group is meeting. That's right, the groups don't want moms and dads checking their iPhones out of fear that they won't be staring at their child while they're happily playing with other children at the park.
We need to discuss.
The reason the groups want to eschew parents from using their phones is mainly for safety purposes -- and it's pretty much impossible to argue with that. But is banning phones, save for emergency calls, really necessary? Seems a bit intense and nanny state-ish if you ask me.
I'm not the parent who's always on their phone when they're with their kid, I swear. In fact, I make a concerted effort to not have my phone around when I'm with my daughter, A) because I work and want to really be with her when I'm with her, and B) because my child goes bonkers if she sees it, wanting to watch a "bideo" of herself. But I do check it from time to time. And I likely would glance at it if she were contentedly playing with a group of other kids and not think it's a big deal. I mean, a no phone policy? Really?!
Like I said, I'm all for "being in the moment" with my child as often as I can, but, to be perfectly honest, every once in a while I wonder if I'm giving my daughter too much attention (cue the comments!). I don't need to sit right near her when she's happily playing with a doll or some blocks by herself (maybe I feel guilty for working?). I certainly don't want to be a hovering hovercraft helicopter parent -- especially when she's enjoying time with other kids.
If the purpose of the no phone rule is solely for safety, I totally get it. And, I mean, it would be really weird and irresponsible for a parent to be completely engrossed in their phone the entire time a playgroup is going on. But if it's so parents can be in the moment with their kid while they're monkeying around with some fellow toddlers -- well, that's kinda weird, too.
Do you check your phone around your kid?
Image via B. Boissonnet/BSIP/Corbis