My in-laws gave us an iPad three years ago for Christmas. It was such a big and exciting gift and I was very grateful, but I also sort of wondered what the hell we were going to do with it.
"I already have a computer," I thought, "and a phone."
As if having a bunch of electronic devices meant you didn't need MORE. Three years later, the iPad is totally indispensable for our day to day living. And by that I mean: the kids' daily living. Really, its just Seconda, who is a Netflix junkie and finds sitting on the couch near her family members to watch something on the television, all together as a group, to be claustrophobic, and limiting. She's such a teenager, my six year-old. "I want some space to watch my show! Close the door and leave me alone!" And then when I say, "Is that how you talk to your mother?", she adds as a concession, "Ugh, ok -- pretty please???"
We let her use the ipad most mornings when she wakes for about a half hour, as a gentle way to make what would otherwise be a grueling, jarring and unthinkable transition to wakefulness. And, if she's not too awfully-behaved after school, she uses it for a half hour at night for the same purposes, before we have dinner and read books. Its not much screen time -- during the week at least -- but it is indispensable to her happiness. Take it away and the delicate balance on which our family's peace rests would likely fall to pieces. Look, I'm not proud to admit it, but its the truth. Left to her own devices, I'm confident she'd spend all day glued to that little screen. I know this because when I don't make her stop -- on sick days, for example -- that's exactly what she does. Its demoralizing, man. And its also why I am totally waiting as long as I can to introduce screen time to Terza. For crying out loud, just read this article in the Telegraph about toddlers so addicted to the Ipad they're in therapy
I feel like we need a "Crack is Wack" campaign for mobile devices, only in kid-friendly language. Maybe "Ipads are Bad, Bad"?? Get an up-and-coming graffiti artist to make a mural with that slogan on some handball wall somewhere?
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