Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Parenting: Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It

Do not judge a parent until you've walked, or are currently walking, in their shoes. Seriously.

It's probably pretty safe to say that we've all judged how someone parents. I sure as heck did when Jay's sisters and my friends started having kids before we did. I made mental notes of things I definitely did and did not want to do when we had kids. Did I follow through with all of my mental notes? Nope! But I did follow through with a lot of my parenting goals...and have learned the valuable lesson that...


In a discussion on Twitter this week, one of the (single, childless) girls that both Jay and I follow tweeted "When my (future) kids ask for an ipad for Christmas, they'll be seeing an angry bird alright!" I'm not "calling her out" so to speak, it just sparked the idea for this blog post!

The reason for this post? Because the iPad in this a sanity saver. I should reword that to: the iPad in this vehicle is a sanity saver. Braden....talks non-stop. NON-STOP. Especially in the closed quarters of a vehicle. Honestly, judge if you want, but if we don't let him play with the iPad on a road trip, we both want to stop the vehicle and see if anyone wants to adopt him. We love that boy to bits, every single part of him, and we LOVE that he can communicate so well. But on an 8 hour road trip (heck, even a 1 hour road trip to the city), it gets to be a lot.

It would be different if it was a video game. A mindless video game pushing buttons while he blankly stares at the screen. The iPad, is not just a game. Sure, he plays games...but most of the games we have for him are educational and he truly is learning a lot.

Here are some of my favorite apps for Braden:
He has also learned to do puzzles and search for things with his Thomas & Friends and Bob The Builder apps. He's learned songs, he can recognize letters and he is even able to start tracing letters int he Elmo app.

Another thing, it's not his iPad and he doesn't have free range of it by any means.

For us, we feel that if the iPad or watching TV or movies ever takes priority for him vs. actual play or going outside...then we will have a potential problem and truly have to limit those things for him. But, like most things in life, moderation is key.

Another example is that I fully intended on keeping Braden (and will try with Ethan) rear-facing in the car seat for 2 years. I made it to 15 months with Braden, could not take his constant screaming/crying on road trips, turned him around on a trip to Walmart one morning, and have never looked back since (pun intended). Sometimes you need these sanity savers!

How do you feel about your kids and iPads? Do they use yours?