Teach Your Kid iPhone Manners!

Technology is being used as an escape clause for being rude. When phones starting taking over the landscape, there were tons of articles talking about how rude people are practically yelling into their phones on the bus, waiting rooms and what not. Then smart phones took over. Suddenly we had to listen to everyone playing Angry Birds. Yeah. I don’t care that the pigs died and you were victorious. But now the plague is reaching our children, and we are teaching… even encouraging them… to be rude and inconsiderate.

Once a week, I take my boys to a gymnastics training facility. It’s the kind of facility that you see serious gymnasts training in. Because of its size, they can pack in more than a hundred students at one time, utilizing every square inch (and balance beam) for the kiddos.

This facility has a waiting room complete with bleachers and massive windows running the length of the room so you can watch what your child is up to. We are packed in here like sardines. Inevitably, there are many parents here with young kids who wait out the class. Parents need to keep these kids entertained, so what do they do? Pull out the iPad!

Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet (16GB, WiFi, Black) 2nd Generation

The iPad isn’t inherently a bad thing. I love my iPad for the kids with its awesome educational apps and ability to keep my kids engaged. But then the kids turn their devices on full blast. Before you know it, the room is overpowered by blips, bloops, crashes and sometimes Elmo. It is so invasive that you can see people’s heads whip around toward the sound…. But no one says anything! They all sit there and stew in silence.

Not me.

Every week I have to approach a mother and child and explain that their device is simply too loud. A couple of times the child has even asked me why, and I’ve sweetly explained that it is bad manners to play your device so loud that everyone has to listen to it. The moms often act a bit put out, but I believe in killing them with kindness (while thinking what complete jackasses they are).

When did it become acceptable for parents to put their own needs above an entire group? What really gets me is they don’t even give it a second thought as if the people in the room don’t matter in the slightest.

As a parent, I believe part of our job is teaching our children how to treat others, which means thinking about how our actions affect those around us. We don’t live in a bubble. I have asked my children to turn down their iPads more times than I can possibly count. I’ve carried headphones in my purse for years because I’m aware not everyone wants to listen to my children’s ABC program. I’ve even taken back the iPad when they’ve refused because that’s my job — to teach them how to be considerate, active and good citizens of the world.

iHome IP4GZC FM 30-Pin iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock Boombox (Gunmetal)

I must admit I’ve had wild fantasies of showing up in the waiting area with my souped up 1980s boom box slung over my shoulder. I would crank that mother up and blast everyone out of the room. What? Am I playing my music too loud? Am I hurting your ears? You should have thought about that before you unleashed the noisiest children’s game on earth onto the room. Now suffer the consequences! Hahahahahahaha <evil laugh>

But I don’t.

I smile and gently explain that their device is extremely loud and would they please turn it down. And when they hesitate, I explain that not everyone wants to hear their game and it’s only polite to think of others.



  1. It is rude. I hate it when people do that. I also hate that it has become “acceptable” for someone to text another person the whole time they are “talking” to you. What the what?

    1. Agreed! Sometimes I want to put my hand over the phone and block their vision to give them the message.

  2. I’m at the the point where I won’t even speak to someone if they are staring at a device. If I am bothering to speak to THEM, I demand their full attention. I give others my FULL attention and I expect the same in return. I will say, “put your phone down if you are talking to me.” It drives me insane that many people believe that they absolutely cannot miss a text or Facebook update. My husband and I have made the decision to hold off hand-held devices for our younger kids for as long as possible. Our 13 year old just got all devices taken away for inappropriate ‘online’ behavior that she took directly into her classrooms. I have no problem telling kids to get off their devices or turn them down-no problem at all.

    1. I must admit that I do check my phone around the house but when I’m out with friends… never!

  3. I tell the person to put the phone away. Usually the person doesn’t realize they are being rude, but when i mention it, they understand. I don’t have a huge problems with friends always being on the phone because they feel the same way about being around friends that want to hang out with you.

  4. I always make sure that my sounds are turned down when I am playing on my phone in a public place. I know that no one wants to hear what I am doing, nor do I want people to know what I am playing either.

  5. Awesome post Jennifer. I agree with you completely! Love the part about cranking up the boom box. I remember those. Heehee Love it! 🙂

  6. I have always told my two to use headphones or earbuds. Also, I tell them to keep it on silent when they don’t have either.

    I would go to the director or supervisor of the gym and tell them. I would not go directly to the parent because it isn’t worth it (Done that and a lot parents will it defensive and not good things happen).

    Our society has changed where people think that they are the only ones around and yes I remember the old boom boxes of yesteryear. Of course, I would blast it on a news station or a ball game of some kind.

  7. I am so glad you have the courage to speak up and ask people to be more courteous! Especially for the sake of their kids — learn some manners.

    1. I hate feeling like the bad guy, Kat, but someone has to do it!

  8. Put your phone down, please.

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