This Post Brought To You By The Yellow Angry Bird

Hello again! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend and are not being affected too much by the time change. I never really understood the purpose of changing the clocks back and forth, but what I do know is that the time change does not apply to children under the age of five. You don’t know the value of one seemingly silly little hour until that hour is one hour of lost sleep, or until you look at your clock and say, “oh wow, the kids slept until 6:30,” but it’s really 5:30. Not so silly then, is it?

I attended a bridal shower for a dear friend today, and I had a great time. I actually shaved my legs, did my eyebrows, hair, and make-up, and wore a dress, so I imagine that hell is probably frozen solid at this point. I drank too many mimosas and enjoyed catching up with a great group of girlfriends. It was great, and I didn’t make a fool out of myself or completely bust my ass in the super tall wedges I wore, so I considered it a success.

This morning, I stumbled upon an article that was posted on Huffington Post, and it discussed the detrimental effects of handheld devices in the hands of children. I read it, and it seemed pretty scientific and thorough, but it sure didn’t seem very practical. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure the person who wrote it is a parent. Lucky for you, I am a parent, and I am going to respond to that article, point by point, in order to refute it and highlight the positives of allowing your child monitored and limited access to handheld devices. My boys both received Kindles for Christmas 2013, and have used them daily since then. I don’t believe this is poor parenting, but I do believe that unless they have some downtime throughout the day, I will be up to my eyeballs in Play Doh with a sink full of dishes that go up to the ceiling and piles of laundry overflowing through the windows of the house. 

1) The first point explains that excessive use of handheld devices can lead to children developing attention deficit disorder, impulsivity, and tantrums. Carl and Leland have only been using their Kindles for about  2 1/2 months, and I can attest to the fact that they had tantrums and trouble paying attention way before they received those Kindles. Also, they are 3 and 4. For those who are unfamiliar with kids, tantrums are THE THING TO DO at that age. Moving forward. 

2) The second point discusses delayed development, which highlights an issue of poor parenting. Delayed development is not caused simply by overuse of a handheld device. Regrettably, the only delays my children have suffered are delays in picking up their toys when they’re done playing with them and delays in getting into the bathtub at bathtime.

3) This point discusses epidemic obesity. I wasn’t aware tablets had a high caloric content. Clearly we’ve got to cut down on tablet consumption. Stop eating tablets, kids. Onward.

4) Sleep deprivation. The only sleep deprived individual here is me. If my kids are going to be awake all night, it’s going to be for a damn good reason, and not because they feel like playing Fruit Ninja or watching YouTube videos of Peppa Pig in seven languages.

5) Mental illness. The topic of mental illness can be a touchy subject, and I can imagine that to many readers, there may be a sensitivity to discussing it. I would know, because I am driven crazy daily. However, I do not know much on the topic of Angry Bird Personality Disorder, therefore, I am not at liberty to discuss it. I do know that it can be incredibly difficult to overcome, particularly the personality involving the yellow bird, because he’s a pushy bastard.

6) Aggression. If you spent an hour under our roof, you’d know that the aggression levels here are directly proportional to whether or not someone just got a toy or snack stolen from them, which has very little to do with tablets.

7) Digital Dementia. Lack of an attention span due to overuse of digital devices. Like I said before, the attention span wasn’t that great to begin with, so let’s not try and blame it on the tablet.

8) Addictions. My kids are addicted to a lot of things. My kids are addicted to smushing Play Doh with their feet, toppling over huge Lego structures and leaving the Legos strewn all over the living room, ripe for the stepping, and they’re also addicted to macaroni and cheese. However, with monitoring and moderation, they’ve managed to not become addicted to their tablets. I’m still working on the mac and cheese.

9) Radiation Emission. In this case, I compel every person who owns any electronic device to put it away and forget it exists. *crickets*

10) Unsustainable. This point highlights that children who overuse technology do not have sustainable futures. I beg to differ. The overuse of technology is one thing, but being technologically literate and able to work computers and phones, have a knowledge of tablets and different types of software, is invaluable.

It seems to me the inherent flaw in this article is monitoring and moderation. The tone of the article implies that children should be banned from using these types of devices altogether, but it doesn’t give parents much credit. Parents wield a great amount of influence and control, but it’s up to them to use it. Besides, how else will I ever get those dishes done?


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