Get off your phone: Daycare's note sparks complaints

A DAYCARE centre has sparked controversy after they put up a sign telling parents to put down their phone while picking up their kids.

According to Kidspot, the note read "We have heard a child say 'Mommy, mommy, mommy …' and the parent is paying more attention to their phone than their own child."

The centre management didn't hold back, labelling the action by some parents as "appalling".

The note that launched a thousand complaints.
The note that launched a thousand complaints. Facebook

Harsh or fair?

For some, the note is common sense - reprimanding a habit they have never fallen into.

"I couldn't imagine being on my phone when greeting my son," wrote one such parent. "He is now 13 and I still greet him when he gets off the bus. I just recently took a job in the morning and miss taking him to school. These times don't last long."

Others agree with the sentiment, but find the daycare centres approach rude and condescending: "Pretty sure I'd grab this paper on my wall to grab my child and crumble it into the trash. What's with this tone? A simple no phones at pick up is good enough this is rude."

Another quipped that they would retort, "Oh pardon me, I was actually on the phone trying to find a less patronising daycare centre."

The line between constructive and condescending

Perhaps the parent is trying to organise a last-minute doctor's appointment, wrapping up a conference call, or helping a friend in need before they're immersed in the family's evening routine.

If you have ever found yourself in such a situation, you know the guilt you feel when you enter the centre with a phone plastered to your face. You're trying to smile "sorry" at the carers while rounding up you kids, juggling their bags and giving them a hug hello.

What about a "please"?
But at the same time, the centre does have a point. Surely we could all manage to put down our phones for a few minutes as we pick up our little ones and give them our undivided attention.

Some parents have suggested that the note could have been worded more carefully.

"How about [they write] 'Please do not be on your phone while picking up your child unless work related'. This sign is very passive aggressive. Some parents are single parents, have important jobs, etc. You know what they say about people who assume things. It's better than them talking on the open road."

Most parents would agree that we should all be present and sans phone when picking up our children, but a blanket note that reprimands parents for their behaviour is not the best way to approach the issue.

This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.

Topics:  daycare editors picks phone

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