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Top 10 Reasons Parents Should Just Put Down the iPhones, Already!

A friend of mine recently posted something on Facebook that I thought was great, a link to The Phone Stack. In short: when having dinner with friends, everyone places their cell phones in a pile in the middle of the table, to be ignored for the duration of the meal—and the first to be unable to resist that vibrating temptation picks up the bill. I thought (and still think) this is a brilliant idea. And I couldn't believe the resistance, both to the comments on my own Facebook page and on the original Urban Daddy site where it was posted, which prompted them to post a defense of the phone stack. One of my favorite quotes: "Anytime you’re giving a pocket-sized gadget precedence over a human being, something has gone wrong." That led me to think about all the times, too numerous to count, that I walk down the sidewalk in my Brooklyn neighborhood and am nearly run over by a person texting while blindly pushing a toddler in a stroller. I get really agitated about it. I understand the need to multitask (boy, do I) and I depend on my gadgets for communication, too. But it bugs me...prompting me to write this list of top 10 reasons parents in particular should just put down the iPhones, already. Relax, it's just for a few minutes. (Unless, of course, you're reading this blog on it.) 1. Pushing a stroller on Brooklyn sidewalks, in Grand Central Station, and along commuter rail platforms while texting is nearly as hazardous as driving while texting 2. Your toddler has been patiently waiting get his pudgy little hands on it for a spin at Elmo’s Monster Maker 3. All those apps designed to make moms more efficient can easily get in the way of actually making life more efficient 4. Our parents raised us without being in 24/7 contact with one another, and we turned out okay 5. You should pick up your iPad or sit in front a high-def, flat-screen TV to get your weekly dose of Top Chef, Modern Family, or Revenge—you deserve that guilty pleasure in full living color 6. If you need GPS to navigate the park, you need more than an iPhone 7. You’re with your kids—let yourself bask in those moments of pride, joy, and simple pleasures for a little while 8. You need to wipe the grape jelly off the iPhone cover before it crystallizes 9. It’s rude, plain and simple, to be talking on the phone while trying to pay a cashier, juggle your shopping cart, and finagle groceries out of your baby’s hands—not to mention actually listen to the person on the other end of the connection 10. It, like you, needs to recharge some time For when you turn the phone back on (if you ever turned it off), check out these best apps to help kids remember. They're great educational tools, recommended by experts at Edutopia, and they'll guarantee you a few minutes of uninterrupted cell-free time.

Dawn M. Roode


Dawn M. Roode was formerly editorial director of NYMetroParents, where she launched the award-winning semi-annual magazine Special Parent. She was managing editor at Parenting, BabyTalk, Child, Harper's Bazaar, and Latina magazines. She is a strategic content specialist and currently writes and edits parenting, health, travel, and special needs features for various media outlets. Roode is mom to one son and recently relocated from Brooklyn to the suburbs of New York City. Follow her on Twitter @DawnRoode.

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