Put Down Your Phone


On a cold winter day a few weeks ago, my daughter and I were at an indoor play area. It was not very busy, but there were a decent amount of kids running around or jumping on trampolines or climbing up playsets and then sliding down. I was pushing my daughter on the swings when I heard a child close to us yelling:

“Mom? Mom? Mom?”

Thinking the child was lost or hurt, I looked around until I found the source of the yelling. The child was standing right in front of his mom who was typing something on her phone. The child continued to say “Mom,” until finally, he was tired of being ignored and said, “Mom, get off your phone!”


I watched the whole situation and felt sad for the child, but I saw myself in the mom. I wondered, how many times has that been me, getting questioned by my own child? Too many, I know. My daughter has stood in front of me or yelled from across the playground or indoor play area one too many times, in order to get my attention.

But when I saw this from an outsider’s perspective, it hit me hard.

I don’t want my child to remember me with my head down, on my phone all the time. What am I missing out on when I constantly do that? Her finally shooting a basketball in the net by herself for the first time? Her going across the monkey bars by herself? Her finally conquering her fear of the tall slide and going down it? I might be, but I’m also missing the little things. I’m missing her playing. I’m missing her just being a kid and having fun. I’m missing her wanting and craving my attention for me sometimes to just watch her do something. I’m missing giving her the love and attention she needs. I’m missing me being what I was designed to be – her Mom.

After I watched the situation with this child unfold and the mom say, “Mommy’s busy. Go play,” without her so much as even looking up to see her child’s disappointed face, I decided to be more present with my own child. I decided this is not how I want my child to be treated, to be dismissed by her own Mom. I vowed to be more present, to be more interactive, to be more attentive with my child.

So the next time we decide to go somewhere to play or have an adventurous outing, my phone will be left in the car. I’m also trying to be more mindful of my own screen time at home with her because I want to be present, available and attentive to my daughter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here