'I wish Mum's phone was never invented'
PEOPLE can be quick to judge mothers at the park on their phones, or not watching their kids at the local play centre because their heads are buried in Instagram or Facebook.
In fact, parenting and mobile phone use can come with a great deal of shame, yet despite the research, the lure of the screen proves too strong.
There's nothing wrong with a little screen time, but as with all the good things, moderation is the key.
When you read what one child has written in a classroom exercise, you might think twice before picking up the phone while your kids are around.
American school teacher Jen Adams Beason posted an assignment to Facebook last week that had been submitted in her class.
"I hate my mum's phone"
The six and seven-year-old children were instructed to write about an invention they wished had never been invented.
One child wrote, "If I had to tell you what invention I don't like, I would say that I don't like the phone. I don't like the phone because my parents are on their phone every day. A phone is sometimes a really bad habit. I hate my mum's phone and I wish she never had one. That is an invention that I don't like" [lightly edited for spelling and grammar].
In an even sadder twist, the young child's admission wasn't the most shocking detail.
From the class of 21 students, the mobile phone was the topic of FOUR of them.
Beason captioned the since-deleted post: "I had my 2nd graders write about an invention that they wish had never been created. Out of 21 students, 4 of them wrote about this topic #getoffyourphone#listentoyourkids."
The post has attracted over 26,000 reactions and been shared more than 243,000 times, and it wasn't just here in the Kidspot office that hearts were breaking.
"Wow, that's powerful!" wrote one person.
"This stings!" added another.
Some people were able to do a little self reflection: "Wow! Out if the mouth of babes! We are all guilty!!!"
One woman reported similar happening to her: "We had a class discussion about Facebook and every single one of the students said their parents spend more time on FB then they do talking to their child. It was very eye opening for me."
And one person pointed out that one day, the tables with turn, and those young children waiting for us to put our phones down will one day be doing the same to us.
"Wow! Guilty as well! But then they become teenagers and they're just as bad because of what they've witnessed adults doing!"
Will we realise then that it's our own fault and that we should have led by example when it truly counted?
Hopefully we won't have to.
This story originally appeared in Kidspot and has been republished with permission.