A GAA club in Co. Meath has actually banned phones from the sideline.
We’re all guilty of using our phones way too much.
Whether it’s to actually check for something important or to mind-numbingly scroll through Instagram, many of us are guilty of spending way too much time on our mobiles.
The sad thing is, however, that while, yes, you are wasting a few hours of your life - time that you will never get back - it’s your kids who are really suffering.
They’re the ones who see you, head bent over your mobile, constantly distracted by it.
They are the ones who end up having to interrupt your scrolling to get your attention.
Most of us are aware of this fact though. And many of us do try our best to make it better and put the phone away.
But not everyone is. In fact, our over-reliance on our phones is so bad that Navan O'Mahony's, a GAA club
in Co. Meath, has actually banned them from the sideline.
A drastic move one might say, but their reason for doing it is incredibly sad. They want parents
to watch their children play and to cheer them on when they learn a new skill - something that is clearly not happening now.
"Sometimes parents miss this memory because they are looking at a phone and this can lead to a disappointed child," the club wrote in a statement
posted on their website.
"At this age, it's all about catching a ball, kicking a ball and running with it or holding a hurl and we have to cheer them on."
Originally only meant to apply to training sessions at the Pride of Cubs section of the club, it has now been extended to all age groups because it was so well received.
"In today's society, people are constantly on their phones in restaurants, bars... and the sideline is no different. We want to change this," they continued.
"Navan O’Mahony’s was founded long before phones and we want to remind parents of the essence of the community club and get them to live in the moment with their children...
"Kids just want to look up after catching a ball or using a hurl to see their parents cheering them on."
A brilliant initiative, it is definitely one that should be considered by clubs all across the country for all kinds of sports.
Your child only gets their first goal once, and you don’t want to miss it because you were watching some randomer's Insta Story. It’s time to put the phones away, take mental photos and be completely and utterly present in your child’s life.
The fact that it took a club to actually ban phones from the sideline for parents to put them away is pretty sad all the same. Parents shouldn’t be told to cheer their child on – they should just want to do it anyway.
Written by Mary Byrne, Content Executive at Family Friendly HQ. Follow her on Twitter: @marybyrne321