Put down your mobile and play with the children!

Put down your mobile and play with the children!

I was going to call this post; ‘Mobile phones are bad for your children’, but I thought that that might be misleading as I have little knowledge of the effects of mobile phones on children. Well apart from one that is; they can cause children to feel neglected at times.

I am not perfect and I am fully aware that I do on occasion spend a few too many minutes quietly tweeting or checking my emails when I think that my children are busy doing other things. However, when we are out and about, my attention is on the children. Enjoying my time with them, making sure that they are not fighting or doing anything that will endanger them in anyway.

We all went to the park today. Trying to make the most of the last couple of days before my husband and the children go back to school. Although it was relatively quiet, I couldn’t believe how many people there were on their mobile phones. I’m not talking a quick text message and putting it away either. As I scoured around, there were loads of them all chatting away and not taking a blind bit of notice what their children were doing.

Is it just me, or is that not a bit sad. If your children are young enough to be at the park, then they are young enough for you to be watching over them, playing with them, giving them some attention. There was one man in particular, who had a little lad of about three. He was obviously having some in-depth work conversation and kept batting his son away. This little boy was quite persistent and kept coming back shouting for his dad’s attention. the dad kept apologising to the person on the phone and whispering loudly to his son to go and play.

The son then came back with his hands on his hips and shouted “Daddy, you are supposed to be playing with me!”. In some ways it was funny but it was also quite sad really. There are so many advantages to having mobile phones. Life is so much easier. We can do everything, even work on the go if need be. On the other hand, the disadvantages are that we are all too easily distracted by them.

If I go out with my family, I always take my phone with me just in case anyone needs to contact me; the teenage one often texts me during the day as this is preferable to conversing with me. However, it is usually on silent in my pocket. There in case of emergency.

I’m not in a position to tell people what to do, but having a teenager I can say with certainty that life with little children passes all to quickly and it should be enjoyed and made the most of. You don’t want to look back and regret that you didn’t spend enough time with them when you had the chance.

Put down your mobile and play with the children!



  1. Corinne
    January 4, 2012 / 9:33 am

    I do completely agree, we often leave our phones at home when out (unless the tween isn’t with us) and it is so good to not be contactable and to not be distracted. It’s about being out as a family and enjoying time together. I don’t believe I am so important a to need to be contacted at any time. I have 10 years between my 1st and 2nd child and am also acutely aware of how quickly the years fly by.

  2. January 4, 2012 / 9:42 am

    I’m in the house but on my phone reading your post and thinking you’re right, it’s all too easy to get caught up messing around with different apps and then benignly watching the kids. Am just going to finish what I’m doing and then will most definitely play with my boys…….*whistles while scarpering away*

  3. January 4, 2012 / 12:33 pm

    Yes that is absolutely right – I am guilty of it too, and the worst thing about all these more-ish distractions and gadgets is how greedy they are of our time: it feels like a few moments but adds up to a whole lot more…

  4. January 4, 2012 / 2:00 pm

    oh how true this is and not just phones these days, I saw a lady the other day walking along shopping with a child in a pushchair while typing away on her Ipad the other day. The child dropped a toy and she was oblivious.. of course I’d never do anything of the sort with my phone *moves it carefully out of sight and sits on hand

  5. January 4, 2012 / 8:29 pm

    I agree but I also saw one man pushing his child on a swing and still managing to completely ignore the child who had been stuck there for half an hr.

    My problem is I’m often too busy trying to take photos of these precious memories that sometimes I miss some of the fun.

  6. mammasaver
    January 6, 2012 / 7:45 pm

    I feel terribly guilty if I text in my toddler’s company – his little face seems to say to me: “But I’m HERE! In front of you!”

    I think that phones and laptops can be frighteningly absorbing, and weave a spell upon you whereby time goes much quicker than you think.

  7. February 29, 2012 / 1:37 pm

    I absolutely love my phone and the opportunities it provides to connect me with others and gets me through what can be a very isolating period in my life…..but…..I can say, hand on heart, that when I am out and about with them, the children absolutely get my full attention. Because they deserve it, and because I enjoy playing with them. It’s about balance. Great post.

  8. July 5, 2012 / 8:13 pm

    Ooh, I am sadly very guilty of this. Mobile devices are so addictive and I know I should probably stop, especially as very soon I will probably constantly be telling my children to ‘get off your mobile phone’! Thank you for reminding me. I am now going to make a concerted effort to be more ‘in the moment’.

  9. Ashleigh
    July 28, 2012 / 12:18 pm

    I have felt guilty before from using my phone to tweet in the day while doing an activity with my little one, so I’ve started trying to limit how often I’m on it! xx

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