Originally posted on Momaha.com.
The other day I received the following note from our son’s preschool:
We would like to address an issue that we feel very strongly about… cell phones. We are asking that when dropping off or picking up children or attending an event here, you refrain from being on your cell phone when in the buildings.
We understand that everyone is very busy and that cell phones are an integral part of our lives and also that many of the phone calls you are on may be for work. However, we feel strongly that the times you are in our buildings should be reserved as time for your children or to be visiting with your child’s teacher.
(Our staff) has become diligent about not making or taking any personal phone calls during their time with the children, whether on their cell phones or the classroom phones…
We recognize that the most important thing about our time here with the children IS the children. We want our attention focused strictly on their care and well-being and we are asking that you give them the same consideration.”
My first thought was that I never use my cell phone while at school, so this note doesn’t apply to me. I was about to throw it in the trash and forget all about it when I suddenly remembered that, in fact, I HAD used my cell phone while at school recently.
This note DID apply to me, too!
During the preschool’s Halloween party, I took several pictures with my fancy new smart phone and sent them to my wife DURING the program. I certainly fussed with my phone quite a bit (it was still pretty new to me) but, in my defense, I was sending pictures to my wife as the party was going on so she could kind of feel like she was there since she often misses out on these things.
In hindsight, that was a poor decision.
Getting the pictures of the program 10 minutes AFTERWARD would not have been the end of the world to my wife, and it would have allowed me to focus more on our son – the reason I was there.
Our son’s preschool is absolutely right that “the times you are in our buildings should be reserved as time for your children.” These great mobile devices that can call, text, email, take pictures and give you directions can take our attention away from the most important moments in the lives of the people who are most important to us.
I applaud them for taking a hard line on this challenging issue that has certainly resulted in a few angry parents complaining to the preschool’s director.
This note was a great reminder that our attention should be on our children while at school, not on talking on our phones or sending pictures to our spouses.
I just wish we could take this approach more often when we got home, too.