Friday, December 27, 2013

Not the Babysitter

Yesterday Tom decided to let the girls play with their new tablets pretty much all day, since, you know, it’s still the holidays and they are on break from school.

When I got home, they were curled up in a corner of the living room, their tablets plugged into the wall and playing away.

I decided they both needed to bathe before dinner. The tablets were left plugged in while we headed off to the bathroom where Olivia took a much needed bath and Alyssa took an even more needed shower.

After their cleansings, they both asked to get back on their tablets. I acquiesced, only because I knew dinner would only take about fifteen minutes to prepare and I planned to make them both turn the tablets off for the night after dinner.

There was just a little fussing when dinner was over and requests to play with the tablets were denied.

Alyssa insisted, “But they keep us out of your hair.”

I laughed, because, well, yes, the tablets do keep the girls out of our hair but then I replied, “But I’d rather just parent you.”

She rolled her eyes.

But it’s true.

I would rather have to parent my children than plug them into a tablet and go about my day.

So why did I get them the tablets? Duh, because they’re fun for them. And they can be educational with the right games. Minecraft is probably NOT that game but still, they’re interacting while playing Minecraft so I can’t complain too much.

I got them for them because I knew they’d enjoy them. I also went into that Walmart that night knowing I’d have to parent even harder once those tablets were in their grubby little hands because I’d hear a constant, “Can I play with my tablet?”

And that’s okay. I don’t mind saying no. I also don’t mind saying yet. I have several timers I can set and I am very capable and willing to take the tablets from their grasping fingers and putting them away myself.

But yes, once school is back in session, there will be limits to the tablet situation. And Tom and I are on the same page for this. We both know it will probably be a little annoying in the beginning but we’re okay with that too.

Parenting is never easy and yes, sometimes we make it even harder on ourselves when we give our kids things that are JUST. SO. MUCH. FUN.

But it will work out because we’re not willing to stop parenting just because it would be easier to do so. The easy way isn’t always the right way. And what is our right way isn’t always the right way for other families. We’re all just doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at the moment.

I really, truly don’t want something that will just keep my girls out of my hair, though. That’s not the right way for me to parent.

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