“Sweetie do you know how to tell time?”
“Yeah, the app shows me how!”
“Mommy can you stop talking now, I can’t hear the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Song.”
I had this absurd conversation with my four and five-year-old daughters one weekend, while they were playing on their iPad mini.
Now I am all for occasional iPad use for educational purposes. I have even been known to let my girls use it for a few quiet minutes while I manage to do a few things around the house. But I started to fear that they were moving from being recreational users to being downright addicts.
And I was even more horrified to realize that I was their dealer.
If your children are showing any of these signs you might want to look into Apple rehab for you and your family:
1. When they wake up in the morning they immediately ask for the iPad first thing instead of saying good morning.
2. When asked to clean up their mess, they tell you there is an app for that.
3. At meal times, they text you their food order.
4. Their bargaining tactics for more time on the iPad make hostage negotiators look like bake sale volunteers.
5. They ask Siri for advice before they ask mom or dad.
6. Your phone’s photo storage is completely full with pictures of Barbie’s fashions, Easy Bake cupcake creations, and crazy kid selfies.
7. When you take the iPad away from them they go through a metamorphosis similar to when Bruce Banner changed into The Incredible Hulk.
8. You find your kid stroking their iPad and calling it their “Precious,” not unlike Gollum from The Lord of the Ring.
9. When the battery dies from over-usage or just plain forgetting to charge it, your child goes through withdrawal symptoms similar to Jim Breuer in Half Baked.
10. While saying their prayers at night they ask God to bless their iPad and keep it safe from harm’s way while they are sleeping.
Of course I’m not saying I have seen any of these signs from my own precious angels. But I will admit that after some soul searching I have decided to rethink our family’s iPad use. We have instituted specific times for the girls to play with their beloved devices. I am happy to report that besides one (very needed) slip when I had the flu, we are all on the road to recovery.
This is a revised version of a piece previously published on Janine’s blog, Confessions of a Mommyaholic and Mom Babble, reprinted with permission In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured images © depositphotos.com/dimaberkut and Janine Huldie.