Who’s got an au pair who texts a lot?
Sometimes at inappropriate times, and often without any understanding of how this behavior distracts them? Raise your hands.
Okay, you can all put down your hands.
It annoys me hugely that people have bad manners when it comes to texting. In our family, we have rules about when you can text if you are physically with other people. (The rules have to do with identifying whether the situation is supposed to be “social time” (e.g., at the dinner table) or whether it is “personal time” (e.g., long car ride, or when Mom needs to check blog comments and has giving tween the go-ahead).
The part that really drives me crazy, though? When people text when they are supposed to be doing other things. Like driving. Like cooking supper. Like watching the kids.
We’ve got the principles in our host family handbooks, and they usually include things like:
- “When you are on duty and the children are awake, limit your texting to simple responses, like “I’ll text you back after work hours are over.”
- “Do not carry on extensive text conversations when you are in charge of the children, especially when you are waiting with them before ballet class.”
But many people in the “digitally entitled” generations just can’t grok that their texting should be limited. After all, they’re awake. Why can’t they communicate?
So our guidelines are ignored.
As Host Mom Sarah told me, “I’m not interested in becoming the texting police. I don’t want to have to look at the phone bill and wonder “Were the kids taking a nap while she was texting?” etc.”
Let’s hear your great ideas!
- How do you keep texing to an appropriate minimum during your au pair’s work hours?
- What guidelines do you have for texting when your au pair — or anyone else– is with family or friends and having “social time”?
- Has anyone used blocking features to limit texting? How has that worked?
- What are you doing that’s working well?
Image: Kara, ??? Some rights reserved by john curley on FLickr