Dear Parents in the School Pick Up Line:

Dear Parents in the School Pick Up Line - Put down the smart phone, stop your convo and PAY ATTENTION to your KIDS. - sixtimemommy.com
This week my kids started back at school. I’m going to just jump right into what I want to say because today on the walk home from drop off, and then again on the walk home from pick up I was shocked at what I saw.

Moms, Dads, Older Sisters and Brothers, Neighbors and Friends who pick up kids from school:
Please put down your smart phone and greet the children. I noticed a very sad pattern this week and it is kids being ignored at drop off and pick up for a phone or person next to them chit chatting. The convo, the text, the instagram, the phone call and voicemail can wait 5 minutes while you say good-bye to the child who obviously is having a hard time adjusting to this new schedule of 6 hours away from home. When the child is crying and not wanting to go inside, but your too busy looking at your phone and typing a message to give a second thought. Scooting them inside, and turning away to walk towards your car. How sad it is for these kids to have to feel alone, scared, and more than likely unimportant during a very critical time of the first week back to school.

Say good-bye at drop off and give a hug to those having a hard time: My son cried the first 2 days. I had to walk him to his class, and wait for him to find dinosaurs in the class bins before he would say “Okay, bye mommy!” and feel comfortable enough for me to leave. He’s 4, and knows I’m there for him.

Have a big smile, give a big hug, ask how the day was, and greet your child after school:
Standing in the heat is awful, soon it will be cold and winter. That is also awful, I get it. I pick up one child at 3, and the other three at 310/315 I get it. But, when those little kiddos come out those doors excited to see you, and tell you about their day… Give them a few minutes of your time by showing them you care, you missed them and their day was important.

I know we all have things going on, our lives are busy and we sometimes get lost in all things we are doing with work, social and personal but when it comes to sending kids to school – I feel kids really need to know they are missed, their day is important and we are there for them.

I’ve been guilty of too much phone time, we aren’t perfect. We all do things, and make mistakes but this week really opened my eyes and showed me how sad these things make kids. It was heartbreaking to watch. Some kids sighed, others put their heads down as they walked away, while another visably cried as the teacher walked her into school (and she wasn’t new, she was in grade 2) she just wanted her mom to talk with her, see how she was doing and mom was too busy.

I rush on my walk to pick up my kids. I can’t wait to find out how their days have been, what they did and my 4 year-old who just started his very first day of school, and 6 hours away from us on the 8th who I pick up first always has loads of stories to tell me.. I need him and my other children to know, when they are gone although I am busy doing work, homeschooling big brother, taking care of their baby brother and getting things done around the house they are important, I think about them and what they go through in the 6 hours away from me; I’m there to listen.

What do you think? I think society pays way too much time on technology and our smart phones, I think this is just one of the many reasons we need to put them away for just a little while..

About Jeanine Macintosh

Jeanine is a 29 year old, stay at home mom to 6 kids living in Toronto, Canada. She loves everything about Babies and Kids! When she’s not blogging, she can be found testing products for review, babywearing, playing with her littles or her zoo of furbabies and baking from scratch! You can find out more about Jeanine by visiting her at SixTimeMommy.com.

About Taylor Nikaci

104 comments

  1. Ellie

    I agree! I pick up a little boy at pre school and he runs out so excited to see me and tell me about his morning. I see some of the others picking too busy talking to each other or on the phone and just tell the child to get their backpack and rush out to the car.
    Last year I picked up my grandson several times a week. They would be in the gym and you had to go to the door one at a time to get them. When I reached the door I would see him just beam to see me. I loved our talkis on the way to the car!

  2. Janine Huldie

    Great advice and I try so hard daily to shut down when I am picking up my girls from the bus stop, because I know we have been apart for over 6 hours and they do look forward to my attention when they first come home. So appreciate the reminder here today.

  3. Liz Mays

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve always found it really easy to walk away from work and social when with the family, but I know it’s a real struggle for some. I just want to look back on my life and know I took the moments I had with the kids and really savored them.

  4. Eliza Ferree

    Totally get this. I make sure I shut off or walk away all things as each kid walks through the door and tells me about their day. Then at dinner we do a one positive and one negative that happened that day, this way I always know.

  5. Heather D. (@GirlGoneMom)

    It is a challenging thing to do. It’s hard for me to separate!

  6. Theresa

    My youngest is in 6th grade and would kill me if I walked her to the door lol. She does give me a hug and a kiss before getting out of the car though. My oldest told me in 2nd grade she no longer wanted hugs when I dropped her off (sheer embarrassment I suppose) so I guess each kid has different needs.

  7. MJ L

    Love this! Always a good reminder to put away the phone and spend time with the kids!

  8. Liz Mays

    It can’t be stated enough. It’s an easy trap to fall into time and time again.

  9. Pam

    Yep. They are only young once. It can be easy to get too into what else is going on.

  10. moesly15

    People need to put down their phone in all sorts of situations. It really has gotten out of control. Good advice.

  11. Annemarie LeBlanc

    Another thing that irks me is to see families sitting in a restaurant, not speaking with each other, rather looking down on their devices and tapping away. Not good!

  12. ascendingbutterfly

    Great tips! As a former Special Ed Teacher some of these were my biggest pet peeves, always give your child a warm hug when you drop them off and pick them up too! Spend those precious few moments before drop off, asking them about their day, what they are excited about, make it fun, engage with them. It makes such a big difference, and gives them an energy high of enthusiasm that always help in the classroom!Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  13. Stephanie @CopyKat.com

    You have a lot of great tips there. It definitely sounds like we could learn a lot from the way you comfort your children. I wished more parents followed your example.

  14. milenabarrett

    Good post. I leave my phone in the car during pickup/drop off. I do have to say that since I switched schools this doesn’t happen at all at my son’s new school. Not a phone in sight!

  15. danaventod

    I agree and they need to put the phone away when driving too. It Can WAIT!

  16. Theresa

    I agree! Though it’s illegal for them to use them in school zones, I wish they would pass a law where it’s illegal to use them everywhere while driving!

  17. Jeanette

    I try very hard to always greet my little man when we pick him. I don’t keep my phone in my face on purpose I totally agree what you are saying here. We have SO little precious time with our kids we need to enjoy every minute we can.

  18. Jenna Wood

    It is most frustrating to me when I see adults in front of schools setting bad safety examples, such as not paying attention while behind the wheel and not observing pedestrian rights. I completely agree about the smartphones!

  19. Ann Bacciaglia

    Yes, drives me nuts when I see parents not paying attention as they drive through the schoolyard.

  20. kismaslife

    I hate technology for this reason alone. I believe it has made parents be neglectful even though they don’t see it that way. While my kids are older in high school, I still make a point to have conversations with them when we are home and leave the phone alone as well as make them put their phones down while we are talking. Great post!

  21. Clarissa Esquivel

    I have noticed this everywhere! When I was a barista at a coffee shop I would always see moms come in and having their kids constantly yell “MOM MOM LOOK AT ME.” and they were to busy looking at their phone or talking to their friends. I would always think to myself ” If Only I was that lucky to stay home with my kids.” Technology has taken over our world, and I am guilty of this. I just wish it was so much easier to stay away from phones and such and constantly give our kids the attention they need.

  22. patricemfoster

    Enjoy reading because Parent always on cell phone including me and now we are mad because our kids are doing the same with us. Less communication and more interaction on smartphone great blog post.

  23. Rena McDaniel

    I’m so glad that I raised my kids pre-smart phone. I see this all the time and it makes me so sad. I watch my grand children during the day and while there are times grandma is working it never comes before play or taking care of them. I save my busy work for nap times. That way I can focus solely on them. They are 10 month twins and believe me it takes ALL of your focus haha!

  24. Heather D. (@GirlGoneMom)

    I’m so glad I don’t use school pick up. School bus for the win!

  25. becca112971

    I believe is giving kids your full attention when dropping off or picking up. Teachers always tell me that they like how I always tell my son to be awesome and that I love him everyday. The last thing my son hears from me as the door closes on his classroom is ” I lvo you baby boy” always

  26. Jennifer

    I think it’s important for parents to fully interact with their kids, especially during drop off. That’s the last they’ll see you for the day. Make it count!

  27. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I think it’s really sad that our need to stay connected can cause something like this to happen. Kids thrive on their connection with us, and there’s no excuse to ignore them.

  28. Catherine S

    This is a great reminder for everyone. I always tried to give my son my full attention when I picked him up and dropped him off.

  29. tara pittman

    Parents are too busy on a whole. Those darn phones seem to get in the way.

  30. lisa

    My kids love when I am there for them morning and afternoon for drop off and pick up. I give them the undivided attention they need, especially after a long day of school.

  31. Pam

    Being off your smartphone while picking up the kids is important. I have seen some people almost hit crosswalk guards because of it.

  32. satrntgr

    So sad that we even have to talk about this. With all of the chaos in the world, you never know if that’s the last time you’re going to talk to them…make sure you don’t regret it. Great tips!!

  33. Urvi

    When I go for walk I had seen that sometimes school bus arrived and parents not still there to pick them up…sometimes it’s demotivating for kids.

  34. sicorra

    Hi Jeanine, I completely agree that people need to put their phones and tablets down. On the weekend we were out with family for lunch and I noticed two women at a table beside us that spent more time scrolling through whatever was on their phone, then speaking to each other during their meal. People need to go back to simply using their phones for emergencies, instead of using them constantly and ignoring everyone around them in the process.

  35. Scarlet of Family Focus Blog

    I agree that we do need to put don’t the tech for our kids. However, the phone does ring and sometimes you have to answer, as long as it is not a pattern of behavior.

  36. Laura Gregory

    I couldn’t agree more. This morning I slept in and see my High School son off to the bus to say have a good day. I felt guilty all day.

  37. Shann Eva

    Awe. Those poor kids. I stand with my son waiting for the bus, and am there waiting when he gets off. No phone at all. I miss him and want to hear everything that I’ve missed all day. I totally agree with you!

  38. Stacie

    I agree with your post. Your kids are more important than whatever is happening on your phone.

  39. Jen V

    I always try to make time for the kids when they get home from school. They aren’t going to be little forever. I think some of those parents who are so busy with their cell phones have forgotten that.

  40. Megan Elford

    I haven’t seen as much of this type of thing. My kids bus to school, and the parents at the bus stop are pretty aware. I rarely see a phone out unless it’s while we’re waiting for the bus to drop the kids off. I know it can be a huge issue for many parents though.

  41. Kathy

    I completely agree! I would never take out my cell phone while picking up my daughters. I love to see them when I do pick them up from school.

  42. Helene Cohen Bludman

    My kids often had meltdowns at the end of the day. I had to be focused on them whether I wanted to or not.

  43. Stace Werner

    As a person with no children, I can see what you are saying. However, I also know many single parents that scramble to get the kids ready, out the door and off to school before getting themselves to work. Sometimes a phone call may need to be made or an email answered. Should it be happening every day? No. But I can see it happening occasionally.

  44. Jessica Beal Harlow

    I have no doubt you were sad to see this, but unfortunately, I’m not surprised. I see parents all the time completely engaged in their iphones at kid’s doctor’s appts, at playgrounds, while eating out with their kids. It is sad and I try to make a concerted effort to be way more interesting to my kids than that! lol

  45. Jennifer Van Huss

    I agree!! Too many times this happens. I’m a bus mom! I’m waiting at the bus stop excitedly for my kids. When they get off, all 3 proceed to tell me about their day on our walk home! I love it!

  46. Jesica H

    Picking up my kids is the best part of my day! I love the excitement and the stories! If dad picks them up it is such a bummer, because then when I ask its in the past/ old news!

  47. Amy Desrosiers

    Wow, this is actually VERY sad!! I know I need to get better about this too! It is such a bittersweet world with electronics.

  48. Ora Lee Gurr

    What a great reminder to let our kids know we love and miss them when they are at school. Listening to them is a good way to hear what they’ve learned and share their day.

  49. Annemarie LeBlanc

    I agree. Younger children, especially those who started school for the first time may still show signs of separation anxiety. I wish some parents would try to think back at the time when they were that age. How did their parents treat them? This is an example of how technology can work against us.

  50. Shell Things (@shellthings)

    My number one priority in the school parking lot is keeping my kids (and other kids) safe. So, no tech for me. Sometimes that also means I’m not really having a deep conversation with my kids- we wait until we’re back to the car so I’m not distracted when we’re crossing the parking lot.

  51. Mykidsguide

    Technology is good and definitely helpful, but it’s sad to see that many of us are becoming a slave to it. These are spot on and I have seen this happen at my kids’ school, too.

  52. Mama to 5 BLessings

    I have heard horror stories from parents who have to pick their kids up from school. Makes me even more thankful that we homeschool!

  53. Valerie

    I agree with you. I think we take way too much time away from our families with our technology.

  54. Lexie Lane

    Thanks for reminding us, I’ve seen those people are more in their smart phones than family or friends.

  55. Kelly Hutchinson

    Yes!!! This makes me so mad! I always make eye contact, tell them I love them and to have a good day. They are greeted the same way. Thank you for remind us to put the phone down and pay attention to those kids.

  56. klg1982

    I see this at the park all the time. Parents just sitting on a bench, ignoring their children and on their phones.

  57. Claudette Esterine

    It is possible to find a balance to one’s use of technology and giving your child the loving attention they need. Parents simply need to learn to find that balance and your tips will most certainly help.

  58. Toni | BoulderLocavore

    I completely agree. Time goes faster than you realize and there may be a day they aren’t waiting to see you and the opportunity is lost. Treasure those moments and be present for kids when they are done with their school day!

  59. Annemarie LeBlanc

    Totally agree. They will only hold your hand for a short while. Live for those times. You can not imagine how lonely it is to be in an empty nest.

  60. Autumn @Mamachallenge

    This is great! I hate seeing parents that do not even greet their children as they get into the car!

  61. harperhousehold

    I agree. I always make sure to talk to my kids about their days. I find that asking them specific questions keeps the conversation going.

  62. Elizabeth @ Being MVP

    This is definitely great! I love the greet and talking about their day.

  63. Ann Bacciaglia

    I agree with you. A lot of parents at the bus stop are paying to much attention to their phones. It is important to spend the few minutes with your child talking to them and saying goodbye.

  64. Carol Bryant

    Gosh I am with SensiblySara on this one – I nominate you for head of the PTA for sure. I love the meet and greet to talk to them idea.

  65. gingermommyrants

    I think everyone is spending to much time on different devices. We have a device free time at our house. All devices are turned off and we do something together.

  66. crystal

    I know there were be a small window where I get to pick up my children and have their smiling faces be eager for my attention. Got to soak it all up while I can.

  67. Aimee

    Yes, everyone needs to do something better as a parent. I know I do!

  68. toxict15

    Putting down the smartphone is key! Seriously engage your children!

  69. Elizabeth O.

    These are really nice advice for parents. The kids should be greeted with much enthusiasm, it helps a lot.

  70. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert

    Taking the time to really connect with your kids can make such a huge difference in their lives!

  71. miss (@thedealmatch)

    Great topic! I agree with you, so many parents are busy with their phones. That’s very sad. This article is a great reminder to all of us

  72. The L's Mum

    This is sad to read but such a good topic to bring to attention. I can be guilty of being on my phone at times I shouldn’t be but I always put it away when i drop my son off at nursery because he’s struggling with it. Great article to remind people to do the same.

  73. Ana De-Jesus

    Such a good reminder to spend quality time with your children especially when technology dictates our world.

  74. Victoria

    Great reminders to all parents, i not using cellphone during my pick up and drop off i always want to full my attention to my kids

  75. Ourfamilyworld

    Drop offs and pick ups won’t take very long and those gadgets can wait. You may have an important message or call, but your kids are more important.

  76. Janell @ Saving You Dinero

    Im usually in the pick up line waiting for the kids for abotu 20 minutes so that’s when I play on my phone. Then Im excited to hear about my kids’ day – usually all 3 at once.

  77. Marcie W.

    Our school has no bus service so everyone picks up their children. It amazes me how many people park where they are not supposed to, speed through a school zone and can not put down their phones for a moment!

  78. Dogvills

    I can relate to this. This happens in our school, too. We shouldn’t be showing this example to our kids!

  79. Stephanie

    I really miss these days with my kids. They really do grow up too fast. Enjoy and cherish every day!

  80. alexisakamom0616

    Oh lord the line and the people I so can’t do it! LOL

  81. Chubskulit Rose

    I se that a lot here too. My kids are in 5th and 3rd grade but I stil walk with them to school and pick them up although they want to walk by themselves. I just don’t trust some people who drive without paying attention.

  82. Jasmine Espinal

    Its way to chaotic at our schools pick up line so I don’t have the option of playing with my phone. I use the morning school inbox to talk about what their upcoming day and even plan dinner with them.

  83. Wendy

    I don’t know if we became less caring and considerate and then technology made it easier to be that way or if tech made us less. I think the world is just not as nice as it used to be. Luckily there are still people like you out there.

  84. Ms. Katrina

    The walk to and from school was often a good bonding individual attention time, especially for the busy parent.

  85. livingoffloveandcoffee

    That is so sad. I always enjoyed talks with my mom on the way to school, kids really need more attention.

  86. Sarah Bailey

    We seem to all be stuck to our phones these days and forgetting to enjoy the now. x

  87. Shannon P

    I am definitely making note of these for when its time for my son to go to school!

  88. martinkadelux

    Such an important post! We NEED to be giving more attention to our babies!

  89. Stephanie Pass

    So true, except here it’s illegal to use your phone near school and in the school zone.

  90. Paula Schuck

    I find everyone is very dependent on their phones and devices. We need to try to reconnect to each other. I think i will try a phone free weekend.

  91. thecrunchymommy

    Yes, absolutely. I totally agree that technology has taken over in a bad way. It’s almost like most don’t even know how to communicate without phones and apps and such.

  92. Jonathan Key

    I notice this at malls and parks all the time. Sometimes I fall into it myself. Cell phones will come and go. Your kids childhood’s will not. Totally agree with this post!

  93. Tiany - Social Savvy Mom

    This is pitiful and sad. Thank you for sending out the reminder or loved ones to look up and give children the time they not only deserve but need!

  94. Terra Heck

    Amen sista! I’m in shock of how much we pay too much attention to our phones and computers, but not enough to each other in real life. Parents can actually learn a lot from their kids, if they just listen.

  95. Rorybore

    I leave my phone at home when I walk my kids to the bus stop, and when I pick them up. It’s only a 5 minute walk at best, but that 5 minutes of interrupted and focused time on them: is magical to them. And anyone behind the wheel of a car, should not have a phone in their hands PERIOD. Any time. Just stop that. In Ontario, you will get nailed with a phone EVEN if you are pulled over and stopped.

  96. Christie

    I agree we spend too much time parenting with our heads down. Great post and reminders for the school year

  97. Camesha | Mama Motivator

    I work really hard at being present for my kids. We are all so tethered to our phones but you’re right, it’s important to show our kids that they matter.

  98. mmgmom

    I so agree with all of this. So many people want their children to get the in their cars quick and drive off even quicker.

  99. Fariha N.

    People spend too much time staging memories for social media and not enough time making memories for real. It’s time to take a break from technology and focus on life.

  100. Katie Reed

    Well said! It’s like you read my mind. Some of these parents need to put away the phones and be parents for a few minutes. Sheesh, pay attention to your kid!

  101. addi ganley

    I see this everywhere! What is so important that it comes before your kids? They haven’t seen you all day in school, take a moment to make them see that you missed them.

  102. Yona Williams

    As we pass by the elementary school up the street, the pick up lines are atrocious. The overall traffic, erratic driving, and rudeness are crazy to experience. What a great post to write!

  103. Kate K (My Mommy Brain)

    My youngest has a hard time at the end of the day when the bus drops her off. So I need to give her extra attention.

  104. Latoicha

    I totally agree. I try to make it a practice not to pick up the phone while in the car with my kids. It is hard, but I try to make an effort so I can be present for them.

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