Food for thought...parents and nannies on mobile devices

I just wanted to give my two cents regarding the pearl clutching when strangers see a caregiver apparently too absorbed in their mobile device to focus on the child to their own standards.

I care for a child and do have to take texting breaks, and some days considerably more frequently than others. Not for a boyfriend, not for pals. In fact I rarely text in social situations other than "I'm here, meet me there" sort of logistical messages. The number one person on my texting list is the child's mother, second to that the backup caregiver. Mom sometimes needs to switch up plans on short notice, or wants updates on her child, who has been dealing with some health issues. This isn't always completed in a few messages. 

On the parental side, I imagine some parents who may be looking at or speaking that device may have unfinished work that is being resolved via a mobile form of communication. Perhaps it is planning with the other family members plans regarding the rest of the day. If it wasn't for this admittedly compromised attention (assuming eyes are frequently on the child) maybe the parent would not be able to be home or take that outing at all in the first place. 

When I text or receive texts, I still manage to keep an eye on the child and look up very frequently. I also tell him I'm communicating with his mother. My glances to him when he's a few feet away may or may not be detectable to others. 

Just some food for thought before you take out a camera and point it at a stranger. 


Anonymous said...

I completely agree. I always tell my charge. Im "texting mommy." But that is more for onlookers than her. She could care less lol. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Come on. Let's all get off our high horses and stop pretending that we don't take time for ourselves!!! As a nanny, I took breaks. I was a full-time employee who was entitled to that. If we were at the playground, and my charge was playing independently, I would glance at my phone or call my mother or sister. Believe it or not, people ARE capable of multitasking. I'm just tired of reading crap on this site criticizing other parents or nannies for looking at their phone when I know full well that those who criticize loudest are often those who are guiltiest of that same thing. How about we all just stop judging others and acting like we're the best nanny or mother on the planet? Unless a child is being NEGLECTED (look up the word. It's not the same as ignored) stop sending in BS pictures of people on phones. It's stupid.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't so much in response to the actual poster as much as my own personal feelings about nannies feeling like they have to make excuses for themselves.

Anonymous said...

OP here. Regarding the comment above-I agree. There are times everyone takes a personal call or text at work too. That said, and not pretending to be above it---I really don't text for social situations on the job. I just hate texting period! When friends look like they want to start a chat by phone I'll cut it off and ask them to call me instead when I'm free-I'd rather hear their voice. Sometimes my roommate will send me a grocery list for when I'm leaving and that's about it.
Several weeks ago I was intensely into my ipad, but still glancing up every five seconds at my charge during an outing. I was asked to take the child to meet the parent across town on a short notice change of plans and I had to figure out the public transportation route to get him there, STAT. To any judgmental nosybody stranger I'm just some detached shirker more invested in some random online world and not being PRESENT for this poor child.