The holidays mean many things— time with family, gift giving, traveling home, etc. But this year, our holiday seems to be defined by something unexpected— the ability for all of us (me, my husband and our three-year-old daughter, Mazzy) to play with our smart devices without limits (her) and free from guilt (us).
That’s right, the holidays this year are a time when my toddler can fiddle with her smart phone, while sitting right next to my husband who is surfing the internet on his iPad, all while I am writing a blog post on my laptop from across the room.
This is not behavior that is permissible on a regular day. On a regular day, Mazzy would be under a strict timed limit for her smart device use and Mike and I would only be using our phones/iPads/Kindles/laptops when she is asleep.
We implemented a timer when Mazzy’s obsession with the iPad got out of control but we don’t believe in taking it away from her entirely. She’s learned a ton from the educational games on that thing. Plus, it’s important to teach moderation.
The same goes for my husband and me. Of course, if given the choice, Mike and I would both probably be plugged in at all times. I’d duct tape my phone to my hand and Mike would crazy glue his iPad to his forehead.
But we’ve got a child to take care of and must put our precious devices down to do it properly.
Fortunately for all of us, we are now on vacation. And although we are not at home, it’s not like we are on a ski trip or a beach getaway. The only way to make this holiday season into a real vacation is by giving us all a break when it comes to the time we spend with our electronics.
And by giving ourselves a break, I mean playing with them as long as we want.
I’m just hoping that come January 2nd, we can go back to being good parents.