Put The Phone Down and Pick Your Child Up
Let’s please tear ourselves away from technology long enough to enjoy our kids.
All I know is, I want my kids to grow up with their heads and eyes looking all around and taking in the world, and not what’s on a screen held in their palms. And I would never want their memories of me to be of me staring at a screen all day either. I want them to look back on their childhood and remember the smell of fireplaces in the cold fall air as we walked home from the park, and the crunch of leaves underfoot, and the swirling autumn clouds. I want them to remember the color of their mom’s eyes, crinkled with laughter, as I lifted them from the slide and tossed them in the air. I want them to remember the smell of cold wet dirt in the ball field, and how we looked up as the geese were honking overhead and we talked about where they were going and whether they’d come back if we gave them our granola bars. I want them to remember mommy’s warm lips on their cold fingers and the smell of my coffee as I warmed their hands with my mug.
And guess what?
I want to remember it, too.
I don’t want my memories of my children’s all too brief childhoods to be clouded with the cold white glow of my smartphone. I want to remember their chubby red cheeks cold against my neck as I carried them to the stroller, and what their curly hair looked like blowing wild in the autumn wind. I want to remember their joyous yells as they flew off the end of the slide into a pile of mulch and leaves, and their tiny voices asking for a hand up the climbing wall. I want the smells and the sounds and the whole experience of my precious moments with my kids to be unblemished and crystalline in my memory. I only get to do this the one time, and it is SUCH a gift.
Kids grow up. In a few years, they may not want to play with me, and I might be relegated to the sidelines as they hang out with their friends. A few years after that, the playground won’t even be a place they want to go anymore…and then they’ll be grown, and gone. Why on earth would I want to spend the few years of playing with them that I get staring at a phone screen and ignoring them? Mark my words, phone-addicted parents, you will regret what you’re doing. This is not how you make a lifetime of memories – for your child or yourself. Put down the phone. Turn it off. Put it away, and look UP, at the shining autumn sun and your child’s chapped, windblown, grinning face, and go play.