Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach may not be ordinary parents. One's a best-selling author. The other an Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Both are activists with large social media followings.
But it seems they have ordinary-parent problems. Namely, getting their kids and their friends to interact with one another when they're at the Doyle - Wambach house instead of staring at their phones.
"I love my kids’ friends so much that I want them to talk to each other at our house," Doyle posted to Instagram on Monday. "So Abby and I have them check their phones at the door. Which we can do cause we’re the bosses of this house. They all act exasperated but seem interestingly relieved. Then, after a minute, they look at each other. And talk. And dance and laugh and stuff. And they remember that they are with their friends so there is no need to be anywhere else."
The post has been liked more than 60k times.
Doyle's 500k+ followers had strong opinions on this practice.
"Why does it matter if they have their phones are not? Some of the best fun is made with phone in hand," wrote one. "And you’re not trusting in your child’s ability to put the phone down (which they very well can) you’re insinuating that you child can’t survive without a phone by taking it from them and acting as some would call it 'high and mighty.'"
"I love this for my house because I know I’m a good parent and not a creep, but the thought of my daughter having any barriers to reach me when she’s at someone else’s house scares me," said one. "I obviously don’t allow her at people’s houses we don’t know well, but as we all know, bad things that happen to kids usually happen by people the family knows really well."
"Just a reminder some kids find comfort in their phone, for some kids with anxiety it takes courage to hang out at friend’s houses and having their phone is s source of comfort...so let’s not all jump on the leave the phone at the door bandwagon...sincerely, someone who could have used technology to help ease the anxiety of adolescence and the mom of a young adult that encourages her to use technology to help reduce social anxiety," wrote another.
But the vast majority of comments were positive, with hundreds of promises to adopt the very same policy with their own children. Nearly as many pointed out adults cold use a basket as well.
"I like this because kids can relax without worrying that something they say or do will be recorded and shared," one commentor wrote. "And possibly also decreases the chance other kids feel left out since there wouldn’t be posts of the group on insta etc."
"Amazing! Every parent should do this! They are relieved, there is so much pressure to be connected allllll the time. It’s something students share with me at school quite often. Great that you have given them back this gift of REAL connection."