Party of 5… oh and uh, room for all the tablets too…
Raise your hand if this is you? Oh… no one? It’s just me over here, fantastic. Well, you go ahead and keep judging me and my tablet-zombie-children at the dinner table and make my lack of parenting skills a topic of conversation.
And in case it’s not just me… let’s discuss the reasons why we zombie parents may actually allow this.
But first a little bit about me….
See, we have the unique perspective of being parents of children in three generations. Our oldest a freshman in college remembers a tiny bit of life with land line phones, Friday night video store and rental and the world before Siri, unlimited data or touch screen phones.
The middle child was born before the tablet, but really has no memory of life without it. He will remember life before you could talk to a device and order a $350 stick vac delivered to your door with free shipping in 24 hrs (this nearly happened once) and he still at nearly 13 does not possess his very own cell phone.
The youngest, well, according to the article I read this morning, she’s already ruined. Talking devices, quick delivery and her very own tablet to use daily in school is the life she will forever know.
I grew up in a rural part of Southern California (such a place does exist) No cable, thankfully though my grandparents had it and I could get my MTV fix on the weekends when I went to visit. Sorry Mom, Thanks Gram! To really shock you, I was once the mom that also said things like, “My kids will never play video games ….” hahahaha I see you… old me… and I throw my head back in laughter.
We do have the required tech free days, quite frequently on Sundays and pretty much any day it’s nice outside; because, I like to say things much like the “Pittsburgh Dad”: “Kids go play outside winter is coming and you’ll be stuck inside driving me nuts all dang winter…”
But, sometimes… Life gets busy and I don’t want to cook, or we simply want to enjoy dinner out with our kids. Yes, I know those things seem mutually exclusive. We teach the kids to interact make eye contact, and encourage them to learn how to order and converse politely, but they are kids.
AND SOMETIMES – OUR TIMING IS NOT THEIR TIMING… Not to mention… each of my children has a unique set of circumstances that you cannot see from the judgmental bistro table across the way.
Sometimes on a Friday night, dinner out is reward for hard work this week for all of the party of 5, and sometimes a tablet once the meal has been finished, or they simply cannot sit still any longer is an additional reward, for all of us. The tablets at the dinner table simply come in handy, because sometimes life throws you a tough week, you’re all talked out and can’t cook another meal.
And, you just need to be together, and sometimes just being together, without having to use words, is enough.