The other day, we had ourselves a good laugh over on Facebook about the iPotty. It seems more and more technological advances are being made to have less and less connection with our children.
We’re in a strange place with technology and kids. I never want to be stuck in the good ole days…you know…walking to school, barefoot, uphill. Both ways. In the snow. I know technology has done incredible things for us. And the iPad alone, is making huge advances in work with autistic children.
So, how do we maintain balance?
Well. I had one of those ah-ha moments that altered my thinking a whole hell of a lot.
Pascal can use the iPad on long car trips. Over an hour is my rule. Last summer, we drove to see Circus Smirkus…an amazing New England Kids Circus. This show is always absolutely mind-blowing. He used the iPad on the way up. And the circus did not disappoint. We got back in the car and he asked for the iPad for the drive home. I gave it to him and drove about a mile when I realized: wait a minute! We just saw something stunning. And here he was being sucked into a machine. I don’t care if the app is educational or not. We just saw HUMANS risking a whole hell of a lot to entertain us. He gave up the iPad on demand. And we spent the rest of the 75 minute drive talking about the performance.
For me, personally…from that day forward, I became super duper careful about the tablet use. I became aware that sometimes I was using it to fill boredom.
Except kids need boredom. That’s where creative ideas come from. That’s where genius lies. In the down time.
In this faster and faster moving society, our kids need down time more than ever. They need to stare at clouds. They need quiet. They need human interaction and human entertainment. Being bored on the ride to the beach, makes the beach that much more thrilling.
I don’t think I’m being old fashioned. He still uses the iPad. Sometimes educationally, sometimes to play games and sometimes to watch train videos on youtube. But I’m going to be very careful not to let him use it just to fill up empty space and time.
And at the risk of sounding like my mother (a parental fate worse than death), next time I hear, “I’m bored” I might start saying, “Don’t make me find something for you to do.”