Several years ago I uploaded a post, Advice from Digital Kids to Parents, including some of the thoughts that kids in grades 3-6 shared with me about adults’ digital activities. My students often commented that it was unfair when parents asked their kids to sign a digital life contract or agreement, because adults then proceeded to break many of the common sense rules.
The comments of my former students ring true today, especially when I see parents and kids together on a walk or at the park for a fair amount of time and parents look down most of the time at their phones.
Since National Poetry Month 2019 arrives next month in April, I thought I would repost the poem, one that came into my head as my students shared their concerns. I listened to those voices, penning this poem about kids, parents, contracts, and common sense.
Hey Mom and Dad…
I’m really glad I got my phone,
It’s cool and lots of fun.
I’m texting friends and playing games,
It seems I’m never done.
I signed your contract with my name,
Yes, it was right to do.
But I wish you’d take the time
To follow those rules too!
You tell me calls and texts
In front of friends are impolite.
Then in the car you’re on the phone
Or texting at a light.
At soccer games, just when I’ve done
Something really great,
I look and see you on your phone.
Guess what? You are too late!
Yes, I know I mess up once in a while…
You say we all will make mistakes —
That’s just a part of life.
Yet when it happens on my phone,
There’s always so much strife.
With all the apps and things to do
I can forget the time,
But I wish you would not act
Like I commit a crime.
I understand that my mistakes
Might hurt another friend,
So from my errors I try hard
To seriously comprehend.
Sometimes when I ask for help
And you say wait a while:
You go right on with calls or texts —
I roll my eyes but try to smile.
I really wish that you’d consider
Rules that you create,
And maybe, follow them yourself
So I don’t have to wait.
Thanks, again for my phone!