Welcome to the new KerryDougherty.com. Fresh content most weekdays, and best of all: it's free. 

Subscribe, leave a comment, tell your friends.

And come back often. 

Parents Who Text

Parents Who Text

I never thought of myself as a helicopter parent when my kids were young. Heck, I worked full-time. I was too busy to hover.

OK, there was that one morning when I thought my grade-school daughter left her homework on the dining room table. I chased her bus, caught up with it about a half mile from home and leapt on when it stopped to pick up some kids.

I will never forget the look of horror on my daughter’s face as I made my way down the aisle, her folder in my hand. The other kids were snickering. She looked like she wanted to jump out of the window.

“What are you doing here?” she hissed when I got to her seat in the back.

“I brought your homework,” I said with a smile, expecting a thank you.

“It’s not due till tomorrow,” she snapped. “Go away.”

When I got home from work that night I got an earful. I learned that parents are never, ever under any circumstance to BOARD A SCHOOL BUS.

Good to know.

I never did it again. And I resolved that day to never again bring forgotten items to school for my kids. If they left something at home, they’d have to suffer the consequences. 

Today, I’d be labeled a neglectful mother for such heartlessness.

According to a story in Tuesday’s The Wall Street Journal, modern parents not only smother their kids with care when they come home from school, but they pester them all day with text messages.

Yes, you read that correctly. Parents are texting kids during the school day, with nonsense: How did your math test go? Is your headache better? Daddy’s picking you up from school today.

Schools have been battling the scourge of cell phones for more than a decade. Educators assumed that the kids who were sneaking devices into class were either texting their friends or their drug dealers.

Turns out, much of the time they were dutifully responding to their parents’ insipid texts.

Some schools ban the devices, others don’t. 

“In the San Francisco Bay Area, San Mateo High School decided to lock up students’ cellphones during the day, thinking kids were mostly texting each other. ‘We didn’t realize how often parents texted their students until they came to a meeting last spring and voiced their concerns,’ “ Assistant Principal Adam Gelb told the Journal.

When teachers confiscated phones and put them in a pouch, they called the sack “the beehive” because the phones inside were shaking and vibrating constantly. Yep, the culprits were often parents. Checking in with their little darlings.

Don’t they realize that electronic interruptions hinder learning?

The WSJ reports that: “A 2017 study published in the journal ‘Educational Psychology’ found that college students who attended classes where cellphones and other electronic devices were permitted for non-academic reasons scored lower on exams than students who didn’t have access to devices.”

You don’t need a study to know that. It’s common sense.

I have friends who are teachers. They tell me it’s nearly impossible to keep kids off their phones during the school day.

Parents? Or drug dealers?

Which is worse?

Rosemary Wilson: Hoping Beach Voters Can’t Count

Rosemary Wilson: Hoping Beach Voters Can’t Count

Take Your Vitamins. If You Must.

Take Your Vitamins. If You Must.