A few weeks ago, we were walked into our son’s first basketball game. I looked around to say hi to the other moms and dads.
But I realized I couldn’t say hi because everyone had their head down in their phones. The game started, and I was shocked that still the parents were watching, but their phones were right there to look at.
This continued, week after week, and I got so annoyed. Throughout the entire basketball season, I never knew one of the parents’ names because anytime I would look over to say “good shot” after their child scored, their eyes would be on their phone. I wanted to yell “you just missed it!”
I get it – a five year old basketball league is not as exciting as the NCAA March Madness. But to those five year olds, every lay-up they make, or them even just dribbling (and not walking) to the basket is a big deal.
As my son gets older, (and so do I) I really find it important to not only teach them right from wrong by telling him, but also by example. How are we teaching our kids good social skills if we are always updating our Facebook status during our daughters dance rehearsal, or sending an email during dinner?
I know that we are all guilty of escaping on our phones daily. I have a group text with my sister-in-laws, and during the long winter days of entertaining my two-year-old, it is nice to be able to have adult conversation even if it is through text.
Teaching our children to be social is another good lesson our young kids need to learn. They will soon have phones, and computers, they will be using to communicate with their friends. But we also want them to know how to have a conversation with people in person. A friendly conversation with the check-out lady at the grocery store, or the mail guy is important for them to see. You need to get off your phone for them to see this!
It is not only on the field or court that I see parents on their phones it is on the playground. It is always the kid’s mom that is not paying attention that seems to be picking on the younger kids.
We have all become aware that texting and driving is bad. And while texting during sporting events isn’t deadly, it can be hurtful to that kid who is looking for your support in the crowd!
So let’s please be more aware as this spring season starts to put down your phone, pay attention to what is going around you. And then when you get home – update Facebook and Instagram with cute pictures of your little guy or girl playing baseball!
And remember these little guys will soon be teenagers with cell phones of their own, and when you want their attention, let’s hope the example you have taught them will help them put their phone down and pay attention.