Monday, October 14, 2013

Parents, Phones, and Shopping

"Mom, can I have some candy?" I would sometimes ask my mom, when I was a kid and she was on the phone. I knew she was apt to say yes, absent-mindedly, not really thinking about what I was asking her. But other than my taking advantage of a golden opportunity, she knew I was basically safe and occupied in our home, with my toys and books.

Cell phones have made it easier for us moms to stay connected to hubby, girlfriends, or whomever we want to talk to, wherever we may be.  It can be extremely helpful at times. But my heart always drops when I see a child shopping with his or her mom, while the mom is talking away on her cell phone, all the way through the store.  Perhaps the mom (or dad) can keep an eye on the child and talk to someone else on the phone at the same time, but the child is a captive, usually taken to a busy place without his or her toys or books.  It makes me feel sad for the child who usually looks either bored or lonely...and sometimes both.

But when I stop and think about it, it's not only the child who is missing out. The parent is missing an opportunity to connect with the child, to build a stronger bond, and even to have fun together. Our time of life when we can spend time with our children often passes all too quickly. Let's take full advantage of those moments - those opportunities - both for own sake and for the sake of the children. 

What do you think? Do you agree with me on this?

(And I don't mean to be critical of any one person at any one time. Sometimes it's just really important for someone to resolve something, right now, on their cell phone, & the casual observer can't know when that time is. So I'm not meaning to suggest we judge others, but just something to think about.)