I’ve been seeing lots of posts over the past few months related to this post, entitled, Dear Mom on the iPhone. In it, the author basically tells moms that we’re missing out on a ton with our children because we are on our iPhones (or computers or Android phones or whatever other digital devices) and we need to start paying attention to them. It’s pretty much a huge guilt trip (and/or wake up call) for anyone who’s ever used a digital device while around her children.
Naturally, there’s been a big backlash against this article, written by people standing up for everyone using those iPhones and other devices. Here are a couple of those: In Defense of the iPhone Mom and Dear Mom on the iPhone, I Get It.
What I haven’t really seen (and probably it’s out there, I just haven’t found it), is an acknowledgment that we need both perspectives. We should probably adopt the “Dear Mom get off your phone” perspective more often when evaluating our own digital use and adopt the “Dear Mom, I can see many reasons why you would want/need to use your phone” perspective when considering other people’s actions.
I don’t have an iPhone or any kind of smart phone. My flip phone is so dumb, it doesn’t even have a keyboard for texting! I do all my digital consuming from my computer. But I know that I need to evaluate my motivations and time spent on the computer in relation to how much time I’m spending with my children.
I do find myself saying, “Ellie, if you would just leave me alone one more minute, I will be able to finish this [email, blog post, …] and then I’ll have time to play with you.” Sometimes, I do legitimately need to finish whatever it is that I’m working on. But often, I could easily put it aside for her and I just don’t. So the first article is a good reminder for me to be thoughtful about my digital consumption, particularly around my children.
Ellie, at six months, clearly proving that I use the computer around her! 🙂
It is also easy for me to see parents using their iPhones while out with their kids and think, “Come on people, just put that crazy thing away. Don’t you care about your kids?” So the other articles are a good corrective for me to be generous in my consideration of others.
Moderation in everything – be kind and gracious to ourselves and to others, honestly considering how we might change to be better parents, assuming the best of others.
(I like this follow up post from the “Dear Mom on the iPhone” author.)