There is, in my opinion a very disturbing trend taking place. It actually began when cell phones, and handheld game boys came into the world. But, lately, these past few years I’ve noticed it becoming worse and worse.
Parents and children sitting at the same table, sharing a meal, but not sharing themselves with each other. Kids are given iPads, iPhones with headphones the minute the family is seated at the table. Parents have their eyes glued on their handheld devices. Each living in their devices.
It annoys me.
It goes beyond making me “go hmmm” it puts me into “I Can’t Even” territory. The parents who really make my blood boil, are the ones who give their kids an iPad WITHOUT headphones and blare some sort of screeching kids show/movie throughout the entire restaurant.
Don’t do that. Most of us have already watched and listened to those shows, that is why we are now out at nice dinners, having quiet meals. It’s beyond rude, it is ignorant, and self centered. If you want to watch kids movies with your kid, STAY HOME.
I just don’t get it. If a family is going to go through the trouble to get in their cars, drive to a restaurant, AFTER mom has had the perfect opportunity to take her bra off, and leave it off, why not engage, interact, acknowledge that you even know that the other person, who is a family member, or a human you gave life to, exists.
What happened to the days of reading to your children while waiting for your meals to be delivered? Or, good ole fashion coloring? Or mini-travel board games? Does none of this stuff exist anymore??? It must, because on the very rare occasion I see mothers and fathers totally engaged with their small children, laughing, learning, loving one another over these sorts of boredom busters.
But it is rare. So rare, that, because I’m mouthy and nosy, I will often compliment a family who is interacting in this manner. Of course this is after staring at them for the entirety of my meal, as if they rare exotic mammals on the verge of extinction, and that I cannot believe my luck to witness them out in the wild.
It’s brutal. Parents. Hang with your young child. Talk with them, and to them. Read to them EVERY SINGLE chance you get. Use meal time as the perfect time to corner them, and force eye to eye contact and meaningful conversation. Because trust me when I tell you this, these days of exhaustion. These moments of “I just can’t anymore.” Or, “I’m too tired, I just need a break, and some silence” will be upon you 24/7 soon enough. Time flies by. Children become independent in the blink of an eye. They develop their own friendships, and lives, where you become just an accoutrement before you know it. Embrace the days, the hours where you still have their undivided attention.
As Jennifer Lawrence infamously said to a reporter: “You can’t live your life in your phone bro.”
I suggest the same to you parents who are using technology to buy you some time, some quiet…you’re going to wish you hadn’t done that in ten years time.