phone basket

Many parents know the frustration of watching a play date turn into a group of children staring at their tablets and phones. That’s what drove Glennon Doyle to impose a new house rule.

As Kidspot reports, the Florida mom and author wrote on Facebook that she truly loves her kids’ friends–so much, in fact, “that I want them to talk to each other at our house.” That’s why she created a new house rule: kids must check their phones at the door.

As Doyle went on to explain, she isn’t confiscating or hiding the children’s phones. They stay at the door in the basket, where kids are welcome to come back and use them as needed. But they only get used by the door, because once you’re inside to play, the phone stays at the entrance.

I love my kids’ friends so much that I want them to talk to each other at our house. So Abby and I have them check their…

Posted by Glennon Doyle on Tuesday, March 5, 2019

What’s surprising is the reaction to the rule. Doyle wrote that after some initial hesitation, the kids seem to enjoy the freedom to play without their devices in tow:

They all act exasperated but seem interestingly relieved. Then, after a minute, they look at each other. And talk. And dance and laugh and stuff. And they remember that they are with their friends so there is no need to be anywhere else.

Doyle’s post racked up thousands of shares and comments. Many parents were excited by the rule.

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Several noted that the persistence of phones and other devices has definitely changed the way children play.

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However, some felt that Doyle was out of line.

One woman wrote that the rule raised “red flags,” while others believed that lack of access to their phone might prevent a child from reporting a dangerous situation.

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This, in turn, prompted observers to wonder about whether the phones are for the children or the parents — and what that might say about parenting styles.

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What do you think? Is Doyle’s rule a good one or does it overstep the bounds of what other parents should be able to do?

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8 Replies to “Mom Creates House Rule That Kids’ Friends Must Leave Phones at Door. Some Parents Are Calling It a ‘Red Flag’”

  • Anonymous 5 months ago

    I have had anxiety for over 50 years before cell phones. There are other ways to handle it. Technology is ruining us.

  • Tina 5 months ago

    There is a time and place for technology and playing with your friends is not that time. I have a daughter with autism and a cell phone has helped us a million times over but when we go to school, play dates, public establishments & sleep the phone is put away. There is a healthy balance with technology and some parents need a hard life lesson on it. This is the problem with kids they don’t know how to interact with anyone.

  • Michael Bankston 5 months ago

    As a Gen Xer, I grew up without cell phones. People say all the time that nowadays so many people communicate through technology instead of in person. Many people believe that this has undermined values and morals. I have to give the mother credit for teaching her kids’ friends an alternative to communication that the friends’ parents might not have taught their children.

  • Anonymous 5 months ago

    These devices are slowly frying our children’s brains , if these parents have a problem with this don’t let them go to that house.

  • Marc Mitchell 5 months ago

    Are the phones convenient? Oh course… Necessary every second? Hardly… What I would like is to have EVERY student give them up as they walk into school!!!

  • cyndi 5 months ago

    I’ve been teaching for thirty years. When I first started the tech issue were beepers. At first used by kids dealing drugs, but then by kids who had parents that “had to be able to reach their child at a moments notice”. now it’s cell phones. When I first started a kid with anexity issues was a rare thing. Usually it was a child that had suffered a great trauma like a parents death. Now fully half of my students have some sort of anexity issue. They range from separation anexity (usually triggered by removal of an electronic device), low self esteem, fear of being called upon, gender issues the list continues. When I can get the phones away, most of the other stuff leaves also.my students surrender their phone at the door and retrieve them at class end. The phones are in plain sight in a holder on the wall. They just don’t have to answer when Mom and Dad call during class. The pressure is off, because I will deal with the parents when they complain.
    We need to let kids be kids. Take away the phones….. at least for part of their waking hours.

  • Sandi Pounds 5 months ago

    oh for the sake of allll humanity….. Kids do NOT NEED phones on them at all times. It is the Parents who NEED their kids to have the damn phones. Kids need to PLAY, interact, socialize (on something OTHER than social media or phone). Kids need to get dirty, play in the dirt, sweat, run, roll in the grass, and laugh with their friends. It is called LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!! if you do not teach your children, encourage your children to lean life skills (not phone skills) you fail as a parent. stop hovering over your children. the damn phones were in a basket by the door. Children with anxiety, need to learn ways to cope in various ways NOT just one way. give it a rest and try to feed someone else this load of nonsense.

  • Anonymous 4 months ago

    I really have trouble figuring out how we made it out alive since we had none of those luxuries! The streetlight told us when we were to come in. I don’t understand parents who use electronics to do all of the parenting. I don’t have my phone on 24 hours a day and I’m just fine

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Mom Creates House Rule That Kids’ Friends Must Leave Phones at Door. Some Parents Are Calling It a ‘Red Flag’

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