to be annoyed parents arent allowed to use their phones at playgroup?

(165 Posts)
itispersonal Thu 06-Feb-14 12:49:48

I am a bit of a phone addict I'll admit but . ..

I was at my local sure start centre for a singing session with my dd (so don't use phone during this session) but noticed on the wall they had recently put up a sign to say mobile phones were not to be used by parents due to "e- safety".

I use to go to longer play sessions at the sure start and I would check my phone as it would be when Dp would be on their break/ lunch sort out arrangements for the rest of the day with friends/family etc.

Aibu to be annoyed at this? Surely I am an adult, me talking on a phone or using a phone isn't a paedophile risk! Though not entirely sure what a e-safety risk is. Think sure start struggle to get people through the door so putting this in place would make me think I'll go elsewhere where can have a seat to sit on, a drink etc.

I do try and support the sure start centre as think they provide a good service to children and parents, as well as other paid activities I go to with my dd.

And yes I do interact with baby as well and talk to other mums there. I suppose I just don't like being told what to do!

juneybean Thu 06-Feb-14 12:51:14

The point is you could take pictures of a child at-risk... Not that I'm saying you would but some unsavoury types might.

LoopyDoopyDoo Thu 06-Feb-14 12:51:27

oh come on now.

Random, un-vetted adults in toddler centers with phones. Of course it's a safety concern.

cozietoesie Thu 06-Feb-14 12:52:10

Is it to do with photos? (In other words, with that policy in place, they can cut up if they even see a phone in your hands.)

CoffeeTea103 Thu 06-Feb-14 12:52:12

Yabu

foolonthehill Thu 06-Feb-14 12:54:08

It's because phones these days can take pictures...yes you are a potential risk. Unauthorised photo's of other people's children are the risk they are addressing .

I think as a responsible adult you can manage your time to avoid needing to contact others even during extended play sessions.

Hoppinggreen Thu 06-Feb-14 12:54:13

How long are the sessions? Would it kill you not to look at your phone for an hour tops?
I can be a phone addict so I think its nice in some ways when they are banned, removes the temptation and focuses all attention on your child

fs2013 Thu 06-Feb-14 12:54:28

E-safety is common now. It may seem silly but it's a real concern. Anyone could take a photo and upload it on the internet.

birdybear Thu 06-Feb-14 12:56:03

You are lucky you have a drink and a seat to sit on! At my local sure start centre, we were not allowed drinks as they were a health and safety risk, and we not allowed chairs either! When i asked why, it was because we were not meant to go there and sit and chat, we were meant to interact and play with our dc 100% of the time!
This meant we were all squatting delicately on tiny kids chairs , on the edge of cupboards or on the hard floor.
In the end we got fed up with it and didn't go back!

CMOTDibbler Thu 06-Feb-14 12:56:50

Its not about being unsavoury - the big issue is people taking pictures on their phones, uploading them to social media, and other children being identifiable in them. Not an issue for most children, but for those being fostered, adopted, or as a family hiding from an abuser, a huge problem.

Not using your phone while at a group isn't going to hurt you

itispersonal Thu 06-Feb-14 12:56:57

I understand it's to do with photos I just find it ott! You are there with ur child, not a random person passing by!

HamletsSister Thu 06-Feb-14 12:57:03

Do you remember the days (ooh, about 15 years ago) where you actually made a plan in the morning and then stuck to it rather than relying on a constant shower of texts?

YouTheCat Thu 06-Feb-14 12:58:19

I think it's to do with having a bit of courtesy as well. Can you not leave your phone alone and use the time to interact with your child/other parents?

AnotherHastyNameChange Thu 06-Feb-14 12:58:26

Is it really so hard to be without your phone for a while? Why can't you make arrangements with friends or DP before or after the session? You do realize that the world still turned and people still organised their busy lives before mobiles came along? ;-)

Sorry, that sounded harsh. But it's only a phone.

bragmatic Thu 06-Feb-14 12:58:46

I think they're being OTT. Anyone could take a picture of my kids anytime in the street, at the park, at the beach, wherever. I don't spend a second thinking about it.

itispersonal Thu 06-Feb-14 12:59:12

We don't chairs or drinks at the sure start! Thats why I made that comment, other venues do! My dd was a pre crawler and went from 9 weeks so you would be awfully uncomfortable Sat on the floor with no back rest, interacting with your child for 2 hours!

bragmatic Thu 06-Feb-14 12:59:22

The courtesy aspect I get. But that's not the reason for the ban.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 06-Feb-14 12:59:28

YABU. You could take a photo of your child and post it on social networking sites, with an at risk child in the background. Say, eg, a child that had fled from domestic abuse. It's possible that the photo could get brought to the attention of the person the child has fled from and they could find them. There are many other child protection scenarios involved, as well as the fact that the sure start centre needs the permission of every parent before allowing anyone to take photos. Child protection measures are there for a reason, and escpoecially so in sure start where there may be a higher than average number of at risk children attending.

No-one needs to be so wedded to their phone that it can't wait a few minutes. If it's a matter of life and death, leave the centre and take the call.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 06-Feb-14 13:01:06

You're not getting this are you? It's not about you and your child, it's about others children's safety as well. It doesn't mean that someone coming there with a child means you wouldn't do anything unfavorable.

AwfulMaureen Thu 06-Feb-14 13:02:14

You said "You are there with your child not a random passer by"

I am sorry but just having a child does not instantly make people safe....having a baby is not an entry into "no risk-respectability"

In ours it was more about the fact of leaving your child unsupervised / bothering other parents rather than the photo aspect of it.

The mothers were lined up against the wall on the comfy seats playing games on their phones while their children ran havoc through the rest of the hall without so much as a glance.

AwfulMaureen Thu 06-Feb-14 13:03:31

Don't go if you don't like it. I wouldn't myself. I've never used those places...don't like the idea of government run playgroups.

Ichibanformen Thu 06-Feb-14 13:04:23

Can't you leave your phone alone for the session? There were mums like you at the group we went to. Kept sneaking their phones out even though they were asked repeatedly not to. It's an hour, two maximum.

Pigletin Thu 06-Feb-14 13:05:16

I agree it is over the top...the world has gone crazy with these safety requirements. If you're so afraid someone will take a photo of your child, then stay home. People have become hysterical.

Drquin Thu 06-Feb-14 13:06:14

Yes, YABU.

It's partly safety - it's much easier (you'll know, being a phone addict an' all!) to take pictures, and distribute them on-line than ever before. And sadly, there are some kids who can't or shouldn't (for their own safety) have their photos published, especially with any kind of identifying details (e.g. In front of a nice Anytown Sure Start centre sign!)
Sad but true.
So, it's easier to ask everyone to refrain - it's one way of mitigating that risk.

It's also just polite surely! Yes, there was a time not so very long ago when you had to make plans for the day and stick to them, and only in the direst emergencies would you run into a pub looking for a pay-phone. You also say "you are there with your child" ..... So "be with your child" don't "be on your phone".

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