It's Spring time, so of course parents are going to be outside with their kids at the playground. And if adults are outside, of course they have their cell phones on them. And it someone has some piece of relatively new tech with them, of course some Luddite is going to complain.
It happened this week when my Facebook feed lit up with a post chastising a Mom at a playground for being on her phone. Being on her phone while... what exactly was happening?
What exactly was she missing? The story chastises her for missing, well, I guess its point is that she is missing her child's childhood. In reality, as I mentioned in a previous post, she is missing no such thing. If she is any kind of parent, she has seen her kid climb steps and go down a slide.
What the post ignores is that we outsiders have no idea what she is doing on that phone. Sure, it fits into our nice preconceived notion if she is texting a friend (oooooh, please let be a drug dealer!) or playing Flappy Bird, but what if her sister is in the hospital and she is getting updates? What if her husband is texting to say he'll be late? We just don't know.
We also don't know what the rest of her day has been like. Maybe she has spent all day doing art projects and playing Legos with her kids and took them here both as a treat for them and herself. Why do we ignore this possibility? In my experience its at least as likely as the idea that she has been on her phone ignoring her kids all day long.
I mean, sure, we can assume the worst. But in that case, why not just assume the Mom brought her kids to the playground as part of a devious plan between her and her husband to leave the kids there? Perhaps she is texting her husband at that moment about how, ahahaha, the plan is working perfectly and she will be home shortly?
In short, you can be a perfectly good parent and text while your kids are at the playground. And because you are giving them space and letting them play and learn for themselves and giving yourself some time to unwind, you might just be a better parent for it.