It’s the season of giving thanks, so I thought I’d chime in on why I’m thankful for a first-world “problem” that middle-class families appear to obsess over: screen time.
I’ve seen the studies saying that my kids’ brains will melt out of their heads or that they’ll end up alone and rocking in a corner if they so much as look at an iPad.
I don’t care.
Both my kids have tablets, though we didn’t design it that way. The devices initially belonged to my husband and me. Slowly, children’s apps and movies began cluttering the screens. However, we were happy to hand the tablets over to the kids. “Yes! More screen time!” we cheered. There are so many ways that iPads and e-readers have made our lives better.
Our children would still rather play outside or with other people than being on a tablet. We still read to them and teach them, like, stuff. I’m just sick of people demonizing parents who let their kids chill on a tablet for a bit during the day.
I’m love that my kids have tablets, and here’s why:
- Long car rides are so much better. I’ll take hours of the WildKratts puns over the brain-breaking whining of bored children any day.
- Short car rides are so much better. It takes exactly one episode of “Peg and Cat” to get to preschool.
- I can take a shower knowing that the kids will be on the tablets for 10 minutes instead of beating the shit out of each other.
- Because once in a while, my husband and I would like to go to dinner and bring the kids, and a tablet means the 2-year-old will be quietly entertained from the time we order to the time we eat.
- I’ll admit it: Sometimes, Mommy wants quiet time, too. I can let the kids have the tablets for 30 minutes, and I can park my butt on the couch and surf articles about how screen time is RUINING OUR YOUNGEST GENERATION.
- Have you ever tried to fold laundry with two little kids at your feet?
- I work from home. A half hour of the kids playing Angry Birds means I won’t miss a deadline and we can pay the mortgage this month.
- Those educational apps are pretty damn neat.
- I’m not ashamed to say that one of my favorite things to do is cuddle with my son and watch silly cat videos together.
- The PBS app is probably the only thing that makes my daughter happy when she does that thing where she wakes up from a nap ready to murder everyone.
My kids are good, smart kids. They love play dates and reading books. They go on hikes, run through the homemade obstacle courses we set up in the backyard and love coloring and practicing writing their letters.
I’m thankful that we have tablets for the other times, and I’m thankful that there are people who get that a little screen time won’t ruin my children.
Go enjoy more of Kate’s sarcastic sense of humor at her blog, My Kind of Parenting, or here on Facebook.
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