We made a late-night run (literally) to Jeni’s for ice cream. Mario brought the iPad and got on YouTube to watch the Pink Panther. Maria soon became intrigued. And I was left acting as chauffeur to the two munchos.
We passed an older couple along the way and they gawked in amazement at the sight of M&M watching tv in the stroller.
“You wouldn’t have seen that five years ago” they chuckled.
It got me thinking back to when Maria was born just 7 years ago. An iPad would not have been an option. She had to stare into space and take in the sights around her when I took her for a stroller ride. How cruel!
But Mario has known nothing but this way of life. Technology is always at your fingertips. You can watch that show you like anytime. You can play an app game anytime. But you can also educate yourself and look up facts anytime (like when we googled how clouds were formed last week).
I struggle as do most parents with how much computer and tv and iPhone they should have in a day. It tends to go back to what they are doing on the computer or phone, also. There are some apps that have done wonders for Mario’s and Ri’s math skills (Math Zombies) but others that are probably killing brain cells exponentially (Zombieville (yes, M&M have a strange fascination with zombies)).
As with everything in life, moderation is key, I suppose. Ri and Mario still get on their bikes and run around the neighborhood through the day. The day they sit inside all afternoon on a technological device is the day that we start enforcing hard and fast rules. But, knock on wood, we have some pretty happy, active, diverse kids who like to mix it up between outdoor play and games and education. Think it will stay that way five years from now when they both have iPhones?!