I was doing a training with a preschool/child care group recently where we were talking about the importance of relationships and connections — both between parents and children as well as parents and caregivers. During our discussion someone mentioned how common it was for parents to be chatting on their cell phones as they arrived to pick up their children. Less than ideal from a connection standpoint.
I asked if they had considered making it a policy that parent’s finish their phone calls before picking up their children. Bank tellers and store clerks expect as much, shouldn’t we expect it for our children? I thought it might be a useful policy for other schools and child care centers to consider as well, so I thought I’d help out. You might start by posting this sign (PDF Link):
That’s the professional approach, the one I would recommend, but my feisty side couldn’t resist making this version as well.
Whether you’re the parent picking up, or the teacher at the door, here’s why we need parents to be present as they reunite with their kids:
Practical - Parents and teachers need a chance to talk, to discuss the day and get on the same page.
Personal - The moment when parents and children reunite is a powerful one. Parents communicate to their kids that they are important, loved, and wanted when they make eye contact, smile, and make themselves truly available. Taking the time to listen to the day’s events keeps you in the loop and sets an important precedence for keeping lines of communication open.
It’s hard to do all that with a phone to your ear.
Any school cell phone policies for parents out there?