What I Learned While Looking at My Phone as My Kids Played

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

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With the weather here finally getting better, we went to the park.

And like any good parent, I had my eyes glued to my kids the entire time. As they swung recklessly and built sandcastles and played hide and go seek. I looked at them with wonder and amazement, thinking life could not possibly ever eclipse standing in one spot watching your two children interact lovingly with one another while no other thoughts invaded your mind. Peace, solitude, and attentiveness—the cornerstones of every parent to young children in 2016.

Just kidding, like an actual parent, I spent almost equal time playing with them, looking at my watch, being amazed with how many different things they can do in one minute, and looking at my phone.

“You did what?!” angered interneters around the world who have never looked at their phone while their children played are yelling at their computer screens (that they aren’t looking at when their kids are around of course). “You are breaking your kid at a time where you need to be hyper-engaged in them and you’re wasting an opportunity to teach them how to prepare for their adult lives through play. Right now, this very moment, is when you form your bond with your child. When you make sure your kids trust you implicitly for the rest of their lives. Don’t ever not pay attention to them. Ever.”

Well Nelly and Nelson Naysayers, what you don’t know is that when I was looking at my phone I was actually learning some pretty cool stuff. Stuff that will no doubt make me a better parent even if I am looking at my device instead of seeing my daughter break her fastest slide record for the 37th straight attempt, even though I did make her a medal to recognize this achievement.

What happened to the Thor-obsessed young girl from Adventures in Babysitting?

In a perfect example of girls can do anything, the young girl (her name is Maia Brewton) I already thought was great, eventually quit acting, graduated from Yale, got a law degree and is currently an attorney.As we all know, Elisabeth Shue, another star of this film, continues to act and is also great.

What does Serena Williams think about equal pay?

Not surprisingly, she thinks women and men should be given the same prize purses for the same level of competition. Why? Ummm “I would never put a sex against another sex. I think it’s unfair to compare, we have had so many great women champions and players who have brought such great vision to the sport.” I’d like to add that Serena Williams is unreal.

What is the most used Instagram filter?

Look, I’m out here in the sun snapping photos of my kids playing nicely together for the 30 per cent of the time they do that instead of fight. I might as well did deep into which filter I should be applying to these images when I try to trick the world into thinking parenting is all stock photography ready moments. Well, I read a study that gave me statistics for the United States at least. Amazingly, what they discovered was that Clarendon was universally the most used filter. That is pretty astounding.

Is it good for kids to run marathons?

The other great thing about the snow melting is that I can once again safely run on the roads around our house without constant fear of slippage. And since I’m into running outside mode again, I start to think about training partners. Usually my daughters exert all their running energy in extremely short bursts. But should I be looking to them to become my training partners for a marathon? Or even a half marathon?

Well, I did some research while they held a pretend picnic and ate pretend pie. And as it turns out, the scientific evidence isn’t too clear. Although, considering my oldest child is only 6, it seems as though they are still a little too young. Some medical professionals have even suggested kidsd under 16 stick to distances under 10 kilometers.

Short answer: no, it is not good for my kids to run marathons.

Is this going to be a bad year for mosquitoes?

The thing that goes hand in hand with weather you can comfortably go outside in is the arrival of mosquitoes that make it uncomfortable to go outside. Is this year predicted to be any better than usual? Any worse? This seemed like information that would make me a better parent.

Unfortunately I could find no useful information on this topic. We’re probably screwed again.

So you see Judgy McNeverusestheirphonewithkidsaround, I may not be watching all the things my kids do as they run around in the muddy grass that spring brings, but I still learned a hell of a lot and I feel like a pretty darn good person for it.

One response to “What I Learned While Looking at My Phone as My Kids Played”

  1. […] The boys wanted to play at the playground on the way home from school this week, so I indulged. It gets them running, it gives me a few extra minutes to peck away at my phone. […]

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