Just A Moment of Your Time Please

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Just A Moment of Your Time Please

February 8, 2017

You may have recently heard of a daycare in Texas posting a sign advocating parents to be off their phone when picking up their child.  “You are picking up your child! GET OFF YOUR PHONE!!!!” the sign reads. 

It’s most likely a single or small handful of culprits that the daycare is targeting this sign towards, but it’s gone viral on social media, the news, and causing quite a stir from both sides. It certainly seems personal interaction has declined since the advent of the cell phone.  If you don’t believe that, go to a local coffee shop and watch 20-somethings sit around a table, not conversing with each other, but texting others on their phone.

While I believe the sign could have been significantly more subtle, there is a ring of compassion to it.  Think about going home at the end of your work day and wanting to talk it out with your significant other, and the whole time, he or she never lifts his or her head up from the newspaper.  I’m confident you’re not going to feel heard or validated as important. 

 As a parent of a child at a BrightPath centre, not only is my son trying to get my attention when I pick him up, so are the educators.  Sometimes it’s a reminder for an upcoming pajama day, or to bring sunscreen for the upcoming sunny days outside.  But sometimes it’s something more important than gentle reminders. 

While I think I’ve been pretty good about not being on my phone, I admit I’ve rushed in and out to get him to a soccer practice.  In these times, I’ve missed the times his educator wanted to tell me he had a great day, or he was frustrated on a project, or he finished a book he’d been working on.  I’ve not taken the time to meet the new teacher in his room, who smiles at us every day, and spends more time with my son than I do. 

But on days I can’t seem to slow down, I’m thankful BrightPath offers families complimentary access to a mobile app, called BrightPath Connect.  Throughout my son’s day at the school, I may receive a photo of my son learning, laughing, or having fun.  Through his daily report, I get updates on his mood, how much he ate, and his development.  One day I received the below through the BrightPath Connect app and I instantly smiled.   

When I picked up my son that day, I looked down at him and asked if he had fun building magnet towers.  The look on his face was pure astonishment.  “How did you know what I was doing today?” he asked.

“I’m Super-Mom, I know everything” I joked.  The whole car drive home, he spent telling my about how high he built his tower, and how his friend and he had a contest of who could built the tallest tower before pretending they were zombies and knocked them over.  I was aware real-time of what my son was learning, what he’d played, and which skills he built upon that day.  And the photo they captured made me feel better that my son was happy and in good hands.

I took the 15 minute drive home to just listen.

BrightPath also offers extra-curricular programs with classes throughout his day, so he gets the activities like karate and acro-circus, and I’m not feeling rushed to get him to an evening activity.  Some locations also have complimentary parenting courses held in the evenings.  Years ago, I could have used the “Pick-Eaters for Toddlers” workshop they offered.        

When choosing a day care, don’t just look at the tuition costs, the facilities, and hours.  Take a moment to consider how is the centre going to support you as a parent.  How will they engage you to be involved.  How will they communicate with you.   As parents, we all the best for our children, and we want to feel what we are paying for is worth it.  Being able to see what my son is learning every day proves he is receiving the best.  

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