Just in case some of these neglectful parents stumble across this grumbly old blog, I have created a list of reasons why one should not be on a smartphone when escorting or pushing children round and about. There could be many extra reasons:-
- A wasp might land on your child's face and sting him/her. If you weren't on the phone you would be alert to the unwanted attack
- Your child might suddenly stiffen up and have his/her very first epileptic fit or nose bleed but you would miss the start of it being too engrossed in Lady Gaga's Twitter feeds.
- A cyclist on the road might lose control and come careering onto the footpath but you would react more slowly than necessary as you chuckle about an Instagram posting. Before you know it, the child is flying in the air with the cyclist's helmet. If only you hadn't been distracted.
- Your beloved son/daughter points to a passing fluffy feline and says quietly "C-at!". His/her very first word but you miss it because you're checking something out on Wikipedia - like the history of the doughnut (American: donut).
- You can't sing nursery rhymes or made up songs to your little child when your eyes are glued to your smartphone so bonding with your child is reduced.
- A beautiful butterfly lands on your child's arm. He/she is mesmerised by the sight - having never been so close to a butterfly before. But by the time you look up from your little screen, the butterfly has flown away.
What could be more wonderful, more magical, more special than your own living, breathing, developing child.? It is a time to treasure and a time when you have the privilege and responsibility of helping your child to grow. Whatever is on your smartphone is worthless compared with your child. So don't go on the smartphone until someone else has taken over the child-minding or your child is safe asleep in his/her cot or bed. Learn to cherish and not to ignore. Though smartphone makers have designed them to be addictive, you need to be bigger than that and pull away.
Being distracted by a technological device when in charge of a child should count as a crime in my humble estimation.