Whoever Posted These Dumb Signs Is Welcome To Come Babysit My Kids

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 

Signs posted in a San Francisco neighborhood implore parents to put down their phones and “be present”

An obnoxious ass in a California neighborhood posted signs aimed at shaming parents for having the nerve to glance at their phones now and then, among other technology-related parenting offenses. Because heaven forbid we miss a single, precious moment in the lives of our Speshul Snowflaches to check our god damn work email. This brand of parent-shaming needs to die in a fire. We can use these infuriating posters for the kindling.

Radio station KFOG posted photos shared by Twitter users of these signs spotted in the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco. Read it and wait for your blood to boil.

“BE PRESENT FOR OUR KIDS,” begs the sanctimonious shouty caps. As if they give us any choice in the matter to begin with. The average parent spends plenty of time being “present” for their kids and just because they tune out on their phones or turn on the TV now and then doesn’t mean they need to be guilted and shamed for it. This modern-day trend of tsk tsking a parent for not staring at their little angels 24/7 is fucking ridiculous.

Yes, I look at my phone frequently. Not that I need to justify it to anyone, but I work from home. I’m attached to my phone because it’s literally part of my livelihood. When I’m checking my phone on the playground, I’m keeping up with the very thing that allows me to be with my children on any given day to begin with. Not that the judgy jerks of the world deserve an explanation, but not all technology is bad or frivolous. And not all kid-ignoring is bad either.

Kids need a chance to explore their world without a parent hovering over them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with ignoring your kids sometimes to amuse yourself, cook dinner or just plain take a break. They will be perfectly fine on their own and might even develop the skills needed to entertain themselves without an adult dictating their every move. What in the world is wrong with that?

No parent needs a stupid sign illustrating “better” ways to spend their time. If one of these jerks wants to come occupy my kids while I make dinner so they aren’t stuck in front of the TV, please, feel free. Come read them books and be the magical mother that I am not always able to be because I have this thing called a job and a household to run.

And even if a parent’s use of technology has nothing to do with work, please fuck right off with the judging, anonymous sign angel. If a mom wants to zone out for a few minutes scrolling Instagram and Facebook, her children will survive. Our mothers all ignored us for soap operas, magazines, cigarettes and YES, even the telephone. This is nothing new. Parents have been distracted for all of time — only the methods have changed.

Hopefully, any parent seeing this sign will roll their eyes and move on. Or, rip it down and tear it into tiny pieces to throw in the garbage. Exactly where it belongs.

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