Dear Dads & Moms on Your Cell Phones at the Aquarium Today

mom on phoneIt was a good thing that my own phone was dead or there would be pictures.  (The image you see is from a Tumblr called Parents on Phones.)

HH and I went to the extraordinary Shedd Aquarium today which was all kinds of wonderful.  After checking out the belugas and The 4-D Experience, we went to the coffee shop for a break.  And there we saw seated at other tables:

  • Toddler in tutu with pink boots and adult on phone.
  • Two little girls with matching Frozen shirts and adult on phone.
  • Little girl holding a stuffed white Beluga toy and talking excitedly about how whales eat “really tiny fish.”  And adult on the phone.

I thoroughly love my phone.  I get it.  There is always a text to make or a fact to check or an email to read.  But when we are out with the kids – especially in A Kids’ Place like a playground or a zoo or an aquarium, let’s focus on the kids.

This article from last summer spells out the importance of giving our children the attention they deserve.  Social media is here to stay and I love it.  But our children – and also adults – deserve our undivided attention.

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3 responses to “Dear Dads & Moms on Your Cell Phones at the Aquarium Today

  1. I agree, adults should not be so focused on media when in the company of others, esp. their children. Wait till the kids are tucked in bed @ night before you focus on the rest of the world.. Imagine what that is saying to your kids
    “Everything & everyone else is more important to you than your children”!!! As you grow older your kids will return the same behavior to you. What goes around comes around!! You are their example!!!! So be a good example to them. 🙂

    • I feel moved to share some of the comments about this post from Facebook. Good points made on FB: One of the issues with taking photos of parents on their phones on playgrounds, etc. is that we don’t know what happened the five minutes before and after that photo was taken. Maybe the parent is taking a second to tend to a real need. What struck me about that moment in the aquarium is that nobody (nobody) was talking with the child in his/her presence.

      I also know that being a parent today is incredibly hard. We can’t (for sanity’s sake) focus on our kids every waking hour and I’m not sure that’s good for them either.

  2. Jan, this really resonated with me today because Tom and I went to the B’more aquarium, sans kids. (They are 26 and 20 — those days are over for a while.) I couldn’t get over how many people were living the experience through their mobile devices. I worry that we’ve lost the ability to live in the moment. To see things like we did when we were young. We are so bent on the capture. Of things. Of each other. Of memories. Makes living hard.

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