Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Missed Opportunities

Recently, my family and I were vacationing in the Florida Keys. We had a great time. Sunny and eighty every day. A blessed experience. But I noticed something and it bothered me. A lot.

More than once I saw a parent sitting with its child and the parent's head was buried in their phone! We had stopped at a local ice cream shop (I had the gelato, yum!) and a father and son were sitting at a table. The young boy, no more than twelve, was eating his ice cream and the father tapped, tapped tapped on his dumb phone! I wanted to go up to the dad, tap on his shoulder and say, "hey, buddy, this might be a good time to talk with your son!" I never understood those commercials telling parents the right times to talk to their kids about drugs. I watch them and think, "what moron doesn't know the best time to talk to their kids?" Imagine me smacking my head in the ice cream store and going, "Now I get it!"

I also watched a mother so engrossed in her game of solitaire she didn't bother to look up and witness her children roasting marshmallows at a bonfire. Sad. Really sad.

It goes on all the time. People who aren't present for the ones they're with because the phone is beeping with what might be someone way more important. What message are we sending?

Not every behavior is okay and I don't think texting and checking emails when you're in the company of others is good behavior. The children are watching and they will do exactly what they see mom and dad do. It doesn't matter how many times you tell them to get off the video games if you're doing it from your Blackberry!

Put your devices down, people! Enjoy the moment that you're in because it won't last and you'll be wondering what happened to that sweet little boy or girl who ate ice cream and toasted marshmallows. They will become sullen, insecure adults the rest of us have to put up with. So do us all a favor and don't miss the opportunity to be present with your children.

Talk to you later...


  1. Stacey,
    Bravo to your keen eye at the gelato store. I worry about the same scene I've observed here and there. Devices meant to keep us connected have pushed us into a singular world. Makes me sad. My kids are young adults now and if you ask them about happy memories from their childhoods they'd probably tell you about times we baked cookies or when they'd rake leaves with their father then jump in the pile. Walking to the park and meeting other families for a lunch and swingsets. I'm with you on this and hope sincerely that young families put down their electronics and enjoy each other. By the way, somehow I missed your previous post about my book. Thank you so much, Stacey, for that nod. You know how much you and your work mean to me, as well. You and Shari and I are no less than miracle workers when we brainstorm! xoxoxox MK

  2. Earlier today my sons, their friends and hubby and I worked on making our garage a place we could walk in. Then, they set up the weight set and the boys worked out while my husband coached them. My older son, his buddy and myself wound up at the supermarket late in the evening then the boys accompanied me on a walk. Interesting that my son told me, "I had fun today." The video game player son? He tends to be a grump. Hmmm....

    Thanks, Stacey and Marykate; you both bring up great points.

    Joanna Aislinn
    Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
    The Wild Rose Press