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