Are you a Phonie or a Parkie?

When I first started to take my daughter to the park, no one was on their phones.  Everyone was helicoptering their kids on the monkey bars.

Me included.

Slowly parents starting sitting down on the play structures, on benches, on blankets and started looking at their phones while their kids played.

When this first started it ticked me off.

Why was I having to take care of your kid so you could text your high school boyfriend?

Kids were falling.

Kids were crying.

And then I noticed something weird happening…

Kids were still playing.

They were playing without their parents telling them where to put their foot on the climbing wall. They were playing by throwing rocks and seeing that other kids didn’t like being hit in the head with a handful of gravel.  They were playing without someone telling them not to climb up the slide.




The kind of playing that I did when I was a kid.

You know, like when I rode my bike helmetless, to the park beside the highway, that wasn’t fenced, but is now, and my Mom stayed at home and did whatever the hell she did, but knew that I would be home when I was hungry, kind of playing.

Did that make sense?

I believe I have come to the conclusion, that cell phones are actually helping our kids play at the park.

Yeah. I said it.

Now before you go all freakydeaky and hippydippy on me.

Just think about it for a moment….

When you are not following your kids all around the park and instead are letting them play while you drink your Starbucks and sending your husband a passive aggressive text like , “You forgot to take out the garbage… again”  Your kids are actually playing with other kids.

They are being kids.

Now, please don’t get me wrong.  I am not so into my phone that I am unaware of where my children are.

I make them wear fluorescent hats for this very reason.

Periphery vision is an amazing thing.

I am also aware that my opinions on things change about as often as I change my underwear. That’s about 4x a week if you are wondering.


Today while I was sitting on the picnic bench texting a friend about social media, my sister about folk festivals and someone else about planning a play date, Baby Bot started yelling for me.

“Momma. I’m scared!”

“Of what?” I yelled back, my eyes slowing glancing away from my phone.

“I’m scared I’m gonna fall…”

Slowly I set down my phone and sauntered over to where he was. Yup, he was right to be scared. He was holding on for dear life. He was going to fall.

I grabbed him and set him down from the play structure.

“Thank you Momma.” He said as he ran to the slide.

I walked back to my phone at the picnic table and immediately went back to texting.

Here’s the thing….

I may be on my phone at the park. But, I am there. For as long as my kids need me, I will be there.  They know that if they need me that all they need to do is call.

Or text.

So what are you?

Do you mostly play with your kids in the park or do you play on your phone?

P.s as far as I am concerned, no answer is wrong.


I have strong opinions on the park.

Old People Texting at The Park

Hot Moms at the Park

Top 10 Reasons Why I Hate The Park



25 thoughts on “Are you a Phonie or a Parkie?

  1. I often bring a book to the park to read, but I’m just as often on my phone. The kids are there to play, learn, and explore what they’re capable of. I still cheer them on and race over to catch the one who’s about to fall 10′ off a platform, but I’m not there to play with them. on Saturday, I was at a park and noticed that I was the only parent who was not playing with their child on the playground. That also meant that my children had no one else to play with, because all the other kids were playing with their parents. It was weird.

    1. Same^! I “have” to play with my kids because all the other kids are playing with their parents. I spend the whole time hand pushing the teeter totter up and down for my kids and pushing them on the tire swing. I try to get my kids to play with the others by offering to push them or teeter together but then the other parents magically need to go home or were just changing toys or some other excuse. (maybe we smell funny or something.) Hopefully one day someone will let their kids play with mine instead of only with them.

  2. I’m probably a bit of both. If it’s a park we’ve been to a million times, I’ll gladly sit back, sip my Starbucks and chat with other Moms! Maybe snap a couple pics and post one to IG. But, if it’s a new playground I tend to hover…at least till our toddler gets her bearings and feels comfortable on the structure…then it’s back to my blanket!

  3. Totally with u girl! Its hard sometimes to sit n not play, cuz i love to play n be included, but i believe they need to be kids, just like u said 😉

  4. Damn straight I’m a phonie! Trying to balance working from home and mom-ing all day means I have to do more than one thing at a time, often having to choose my kids over answering texts, emails etc. The park gives me an opportunity to do some work, answer emails, THINK without constant interruptions because my kids are happily engaged WITHOUT me. When they need me, I am there, but most of the time they don’t and thats good, because I need them to not sometimes.

    Parents who throw me helicopter mom judgements can suck an iPhone, because they don’t know me or what I balance every day. The park is my daily reprieve.

  5. I love my kids. I really, really do. I just can’t stand playing the games children play. I had enough of that crap when I was a child. Now I just want to sit. Need me to push you on the swing? Sure. Stand at the bottom of the slide 1000 times until you feel secure doing it yourself? No problem. But I would rather pull my own teeth out than play invisible spy school or pretend school. Isn’t that why we go to the park? To gain access to other children?

  6. I am an on my phone park parent. My kids don’t need me or want me interfering with their playing. So unless Fable wants me to push her endlessly on the swing. I am answering email or scrolling though Facebook. My husband is a ‘park player parent – he organizes all the kids at the playground into playing games, like tag or Red Rover. And you know what…the kids love going to the park with both of us.

  7. I have a love/hate relationship with the park which I should probably write about too. This, THIS post is gold. You ARE there, and being there and taking them is a pretty darn nice thing of you to do. And there is a big difference between being on your phone to the point that you might as well not be there and this.

  8. The only thing that could make this better would make this better would be for the adults to put their phones down and start having adult conversations They may even become friends.

    1. YES. YES. YES. You are so correct. I often feel so lonely being a parent, that I revert to my phone to make me feel comfortable in social settings. Its a terrible crutch.

  9. My phone is out at the park. I’m usually taking pictures for part of the time, honestly. But while it’s in my hand, I will check notifications or text my husband about supper plans or ETA updates. UNLESS I am chatting with another mom – then the phone pretty much stays in my purse unless I am alerted. But either way, I let my children play and only intervene if absolutely needed. .

  10. I have always been a sit on the bench gal. I got called out once, while I was discreetly nursing my baby and missed my son trying to be a daredevil. But I usually keep a good eye.
    I have 3 boys now who all play together, they usually lure other kids away from parents. I have seen other parents following their kid around when they are playing with my kids, and it seems weird LOL

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