Monday, August 16, 2010

Mommy, Please Get Off Your Cell Phone

It’s hard to believe we didn’t have cell phones when our kids were young. I can’t even remember how I arranged what time to pick them up from school or sports, or what I did to occupy my time while I was waiting. Cell phones today certainly make those things easier. If only parents would limit their talk time to necessities.

I get so frustrated every time I walk into Target or the food store and witness a toddler vying for his mother’s attention as she gabs on the phone. I guess one way to prevent your child from asking for things in every aisle is to completely ignore him. Yet, the time you have with your child during shopping excursions is valuable, and when you talk on the phone instead of to your child, you are wasting precious time.

Stores are a great place for impromptu lessons. Pointing out the numbers of the aisles, showing your child a pomegranate, or teaching him how to be patient through the process are all life lessons. When you form a bond with your child when he’s young, you will have developed the important relationship that you will likely need when he becomes a teenager.

I have witnessed children who beg for their parent’s attention while she’s on the phone. They tug at her sleeve, call her name repeatedly, and even throw something out of the cart. That parent undoubtedly gets angry at the child, who only wanted her attention.

I’ve also witnessed kids who simply give up. They realize that Mommy won’t get off the phone no matter what they do, so they sit in the cart in silence. How very sad.

I beg parents to enjoy quality time with your toddlers whenever you get the chance. As the mother of grown children, I promise that one day you will look back and wish for those moments.

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