I recently came across a sponsored ad on Instagram for a tablet for kids that offered educational games. The caption was something like, "Don't let your kid become a YouTube zombie, get them this!" It played a video of a 2-year-old dragging shapes to their proper places.
As you can imagine...the comments were bananas. Here are two of my favorites:
"It's not even good for babies/toddlers to play devices. They need real physical toys to really learn."
"Here's an idea...don't give them electronics at all! Play with your kids! Let them play outside! Parents are so lazy these days!"
Like, relax. The problems with these types of comments are abundant. 1) Who is saying a parent buying this will just sit their child with it alllll day and not feed them, talk to them or play with them? No one, that's who, but thank you for generalizing and judging it's ever so appreciated. 2) Who is saying a child with this tablet (or ANY tablet) doesn't have other "physical" toys? That is ridiculous to assume and I'm embarrassed for the person who said that. 3) The 'parents are lazy these days' BS has to effing stop. Parents 'these days' are anything but lazy. If we're going to speak in broad terms, let's go there. I mean, 'back in the day' - moms used to smoke cigarettes, drink vodka martinis and talk on the telephone until their husbands came home, while their kids were just nibbling on the sofa leg or playing with matches. Dramatic, yes, but come on - haven't you seen Mad Men?
Critiquing another parent's parenting style and skills is the most asinine thing ever, if you really think about it. Sleep training, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, organic food only, don't bring peanut butter to a store, baby wearing, pacifier weaning, TV/tablets are the devil -- the list goes on and on when it comes to topics moms (and dads, too) judge other parents on.
We're all just trying to do what we feel is best for our kids - which, to me, means not judging what you feel is best for someone else's. Because, who knows? Maybe one day, our kids will become friends and continue to learn from each other - what they have in common and what they don't.
Besides, the most important thing, if you really think about it, is...aren't we supposed to be teaching the next generation acceptance, tolerance, diversity, and compassion? No two human beings are the same, and newsflash: parents and kids are human beings. I don't know about you, but I don't want my son growing up in a world where he's just a carbon copy of everyone else. We're raising humans, not robots.
Speaking of robots, yes -- I have a tablet for my son. It's an Amazon Kindle Fire Kids Edition and he loves it. He plays puzzles, watches some crazy person named Blippi and knows how to navigate how he wants to use it (tech is the present and future, right?) - because sometimes I need to take a shower. Because sometimes he is so active, he forgets how tired he is, so we sometimes have a little quiet Kindle time before a nap. Because sometimes during our car trips, his books and whatever else are boring him so he doesn't mind a puzzle app or watching Moana until we finish that last stretch before reaching our destination.
But, I guess a 'perfect' mom judging everyone else on social media wouldn't know that. Because it ain't her GD business. Now, where's my martini and that tablet?