Slow Down Parents! Be Present for Your Children

One thing I see that really upsets me every time I visit an early childhood center is parents on cell phones when they pick up their children. This happens at every center I’ve ever been to. It doesn’t matter how old a child is, or how communicative. Every child deserves to have the full attention of their parent or other primary caregiver, especially after spending a long day apart.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children has a resource series called “Message in a Backpack”. These are great little fliers that help early childhood educators communicate important issues to families. Here is a link to a Message in a Backpack titled, “Listen, Talk, Answer- Support Your Child’s Learning”. This one page handout encourages parents to slow down and really talk with their children, and while it doesn’t specifically address my pet-peeve of cell phones at pick up (and drop off), it does give families some concrete strategies to begin a conversation.

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