That Viral Daycare Note Is The Hypocritical Slap On The Wrist Busy Moms Don't Need
Another you’re-a-terrible-parent story made its way through social media channels to our newsfeeds last week. Who knows how many moms on their phones got to read the story of a daycare that asked—no, yelled—at parents to get off their phones when they pick their kids up.
“You are picking up your child! GET OFF YOUR PHONE!!!! Your child is happy to see you! Are you not happy to see your child??” the note at the front door of the Texas daycare bellowed.
“We have seen children trying to hand their parents their work they completed and the parent is on the phone,” it continued. “We have heard a child say ‘Mommy, mommy, mommy…’ and the parent is paying more attention to their phone than their own child. It is appalling. Get off your phone!!”
Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz shared the post on Facebook and before long, people everywhere had an opinion about the sign. The HuffPost’s take was that the sign, though harsh, made a fair point. We are all on our phones. A lot. But the criticism shared from Twitter made me laugh.
My personal favourite was Sean Gratton’s:
“Need I note the irony that this post is a photo, taken by and uploaded from someone's phone, probably while they were picking up their kid from said daycare? All I see here is a lot of self-righteous hypocrisy. Judge not lest ye be judged, people.”
Okay, Mr. Gratton, fair point. But remind us again, you read the story on which device?
I won’t bother sharing which side of the debate I fall on when it comes to the average parent’s use of their own personal mobile device—which more than likely is used for business so they can, you know, actually pay for said daycare, but I digress...
However, I will very firmly say that admonishing adults this way makes me wonder how they deal with the children at daycare. Is that the way they think parents will learn whatever lesson they’re trying to teach? “Oh, my bad. You’re right. Thanks for making me feel like a bag of crap. I won’t do it again, I promise, Mrs. Daycare Director.”
More likely, parents will get their backs up about the way they were spoken to, finger-pointed at, and yelled at like three-year-olds stealing toys. You’re “appalled”? Excuse me?!
Perhaps a note saying phones aren’t allowed in the daycare for whatever bull crap reason would have been a better method. Or, really ANYTHING other than questioning if parents are happy to see their own kids. Is that the way you speak to parents who trust you to teach their children respect and the proper way to talk to people? A passive aggressive, paint-all-parents-with-the-same-brush rant?
“With so much time spent on social media these days, the daycare’s sign is a good reminder that sometimes it's better to save phone time for later if you can,” Isabelle Khoo wrote for the HuffPost.
When I took my kid to the Early Years Centre, there was a sign in the room with a cell phone in a red circle, a line through the middle and a little message: ‘This is time to interact with your child.’ In reality, I took my kid there so that he could be engaged with something and someone other than me for more than two minutes of the day. But at least I didn’t feel judged or reprimanded. It was a respectful request.
So yes, Isabelle Khoo, you’re kind of right. The daycare’s sign is a good reminder—a reminder that people see fit to judge parents and admonish them for behaviours with which they don’t agree (and are probably guilty of doing themselves).
And I would think twice about the lessons they are teaching my child if this is the way they talk to the adults.