Monday, December 1, 2014

Hey, Mom! Watch this!

It is the echoing cry of children throughout the playground:

"Hey, Mom! Watch this!"

Sometimes it is followed by a trick you've already seen a dozen times. Sometimes there will be a new feat of brilliance or bravery. And, unfortunately, there will sometimes be the trick that doesn't go that well, and results in an injury.

The question is: Will you be watching?

I admit that when my son calls my attention over, it is mostly to see the first type of trick. But, I watch him and smile and he smiles back. Because even though we have some of the safest playgrounds ever designed (where are the merry-go-rounds that I used to jump off in my youth?) I am still scared that my son will hurt himself.

And, research suggests, that when that does happen, Mom or Dad will be distracted by their phone. Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (side note: did you know that existed?) researches are trying to correlate an increase in cell phone use and playground accidents.

Granted, I am not sure I agree with this study. After all, parents have been distracted by many other things throughout the years, like books, conversations with friends and even other children. The playground is necessary for children to run and explore and figure out social cues, but it can be terribly boring for adults. There is only so much running around after my son I can do before I get worn out and need to take a breather.

So, that is my plan. To sit and take a breather. To not take out my phone. To just enjoy the fresh air and the thoughts in my head and be ready for the next time my son wants me to watch him.

What do you do while your child plays on the playground? Share with me in the comments.

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