Mothers: Please Get Off the Phone and Talk to Your Children

Mothers: Please Get Off the Phone and Talk to your Children

It breaks my heart to see women chatting, texting and surfing the web on their phones in the grocery store, restaurants and other places while their children appear to be ignored.

Boston University School of Medicine researchers found in a recent study that a mother’s use of mobile devices during meals and daily life can have negative effects on children.

Moms, please don’t make the kids compete with your mobile device for your attention!

You’re rolling your eyes now and saying “that’s the way it is today” and “she must be an old lady.” Well, you may be right — I raised my son “back in the day” when nobody had cell phones — and we did a lot of talking to each other.

Just because parents do things differently now doesn’t mean it’s better.

One thing I do know is that kids need attention, especially after they’ve been in day care One of the greatest gifts you can give is your undivided attention.and you pick them up from work. They need to play games like “I spy” with you in the grocery store, explore the world together, sing songs and just talk with you. That’s the way they satisfy their need to reconnect with you after a day apart.

And you need to get off the phone to do that…

I worry that people are raising a generation of kids that will feel distant from their parents due to insufficient interaction, and that they won’t develop necessary language and social skills. And the Boston University study cited above seems to confirm that may be true.

Before you write me off — just read about the study results and think it over, OK?

Be the mom you want your kids to remember — the one who gave them her undivided attention and made them feel special, not the one who was always on her cell phone…

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7 Responses to Mothers: Please Get Off the Phone and Talk to Your Children

  1. cindy w says:

    I read this because a friend linked to it on Twitter, but just some thoughts for you to consider:

    1. How do you know what I’m using my cell phone for? I keep my grocery list on my phone. So, yes, I check it a lot while I’m at the supermarket with my kids. It’s the equivalent of a paper list you used “back in the day” (to use your words). Or maybe I’m sending a “hey, I’m at the store, do you need anything/what do you want for dinner?” text. Either way, it hardly means I’m neglecting my children.

    2. How do you know how many games of “I Spy” we played, or how many conversations we had before you saw us? Maybe I’m just overloaded from spending hours upon hours with my kids and I need to zone out for a second. I would guess moms of every generation have felt that way at some point.

    3. Why are moms your target here? Dads are just as guilty of using their mobile devices while they’re watching their kids. Is it because we (meaning society in general) don’t expect as much of fathers? Or do we assume that if they’re using their phones, it’s probably for work, and moms are just being frivolous and goofing off on Facebook?

    The tone of this post feels like you’re judging someone’s overall parenting ability based on a 30-second glimpse of their life. You have no idea what happened before or after. And without that context, it isn’t your place to judge at all.

    • blogqueendiane says:


      I expected some angry responses like yours and am actually surprised I didn’t get one sooner.

      I tried every way possible to write this post to avoid coming off as judgemental — just offering a suggestion, with some research to back it up.

  2. Even the title is dripping with judgement. Moms, get off your high horse and stop judging other moms.

  3. Jenn says:

    This is a good post, even though I will freely admit there are times when it may appear to others that I’m ignoring my kidlets in favor of my cellphone. Butttttttttt when you don’t know the whole scoop, it’s easy to make assumptions. Yes, there are MANY situations in which adults (not just moms – ADULTS – fathers, adult siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.) need to drop the phone and tend to the child(ren) in their care. But there are other situations where the adult may be checking a grocery list, looking up something at their child’s request, or simply going over their tasks for that day. Or in my case, since I work from home and thus am in my kids’ faces 24/7, my kids are sick of me yapping to them and are glad I’m taking a break from mothering them for a while. 😉

    Overall, though, I do agree with the message of this post, other posts like this one, and the studies being conducted – it’s important to provide optimal amounts of social interaction with our children, and to make sure they’re not missing out on or competing for our attention.

  4. Kay says:

    I get where you’re coming from, but this post comes across as pretty judgmental to moms – let’s not forget dads have cell phones and raise children too. Like Cindy said, I keep my grocery list on my phone and refer to it often. That doesn’t mean my child is anymore ignored than if I had a pen and pad. And actually, I was in Target once referring to my list when an elderly shopper said to me “oh, look, another mom on her cell phone!” It’s very irritating to be judged based on a 10-second moment of my life. I think the real problem is how often the phone is used at home, when families should be spending time together and a parent (NOT just a “mom”) is constantly looking at Facebook or buzzfeed.

    • blogqueendiane says:

      I would’ve mentioned dads, but I honestly don’t see very many dads with kids at stores and restaurants – and the ones I do see in the grocery store are usually chasing the kids. Have never seen a man with a child on a cell phone!

      I do appreciate you pointing out that parents could be consulting shopping lists – hadn’t thought of that (although if the phone is up to their ear, they probably aren’t). I think seeing families in restaurants where every single person in the family is looking at a separate mobile device for the whole meal and nobody speaks a word is really sad. Have seen couples do that, too. I get that they may be on vacation and may’ve had too much togetherness, but …

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