Author Topic: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?  (Read 4571 times)

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Roe

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2013, 11:26:34 AM »
I don't think you did anything wrong though I do think your words were a bit PA.  "we concentrate on lunch and not on videos." 

I realize you were talking to your son but the other parent could've taken that as a jab about her parenting. (even though I would agree that the iPad is SO NOT NEEDED when it comes to young children/toddlers, esp at the table)

It might be better just to focus on your own son. "Son, you need to turn around or we will need to switch places" and leave it at that. 


Rohanna

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 11:43:11 AM »
I'm 30 and I had electronics in my childhood - I grew up just fine. My parents used to let my sister play on a gameboy if we were out for dinner with a large group because social situations overwhelmed her. He was sympathic because as small child he was the same, and his mum used to bring a book for him to sit somewhere quiet and read. Maybe this child is the same. I find it ironic that people are decrying wasting time on electronics while posting from computers on message boards :)  I am sure you could find plenty of people who would find spending time on ehell sad, and inform us we'd be better off going for a walk.

That being said, my children do not play with anything, electronic or not, when food shows up. I do believe that my kids should learn to be social and eat their meals without distraction. However, the child in the OP isn't mine and I don't know his temperment, so I won't judge what his parents do to make it through a quiet meal once in a while.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Yankeegal77

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 11:44:14 AM »
I think you were perfect.

It's sad that it seems the other little boy, given your update, isn't being taught to properly socialize, but that's up to his parents and their own methods. I don't think you came off as PA or judgmental at all--you handled your son in a way it seemed he needed. In fact, I could see my mom doing the exact same thing!


bah12

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 11:59:10 AM »
I don't think either parent in this scenario did anything wrong.  I don't let my DD play with anything (electronic or otherwise) when she's supposed to be eating.  But, I also know (first hand) how challenging it can be to get a young child to sit still and be quiet and eat...especially if it's during a time when adults are trying to socialize.  I don't blame the other mother for allowing her son to play with the iPad...especially if the alternative would have been to have the four year old crying or moving and taking away from the social event.   And the OP handled the distraction to her own child perfectly. 

(I do agree with Roe that the comment about concentrating on food, not videos, may have put the other mother a little on the defensive; however, I don't see it as anything other than the OP parenting her child in the way she needed to at that moment...so, not bad.)

Veronica

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 12:08:28 PM »
My DS is only 2 so I don't know if I'll still allow it in two years, but he watches Dora on my Kindle when he starts to get antsy in restaurants and I'm so thrilled that we have something that keeps him calm so we can enjoy our meal.  I'm sure everyone else in the restaurant is as well!

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 12:24:12 PM »
It's threads like these that make me realize how lucky DH and I am in that we got 3 boys that have always been easy to manage in restaurants, even as toddlers.  I wish we could take credit for it but I am not so sure it's due to anything that we really did.  We just would take them with us when we'd go out to eat with friends and so long as our little guys had something to eat and someone to talk to and listen to their babblings or ramblings, they were good.  We didn't really need anything to keep them occupied so long as we went out when they weren't tired.   

Course we didn't really have anything electronic at the time to occupy them and when waiting for a table we'd usually just keep them occupied by talking to them about the pictures, or if we were in a seafood restaurant, let them look at the lobsters.

As a kid though I just had a habit of either bringing something to read or finding something to read or just daydream if the adult conversations got dull.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Slartibartfast

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 12:40:49 PM »
I don't think you did anything wrong though I do think your words were a bit PA.  "we concentrate on lunch and not on videos." 

I realize you were talking to your son but the other parent could've taken that as a jab about her parenting. (even though I would agree that the iPad is SO NOT NEEDED when it comes to young children/toddlers, esp at the table)

It might be better just to focus on your own son. "Son, you need to turn around or we will need to switch places" and leave it at that.

This is an inevitable part of parenting, though: sometimes you have to reinforce your parenting rules in a public situation, and sometimes it's pretty obvious that your rules are more strict than someone else's rules.  Unless you're doing it in a mean-spirited way (speaking "to" your child but at the other parent, etc.) it's just something you have to bite the bullet and do.  As kids get older, it becomes easier to take them aside and correct them quietly (and they learn to look to you for guidance when they notice you're getting peeved at their behavior).

ettiquit

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 01:55:36 PM »
I'm 30 and I had electronics in my childhood - I grew up just fine. My parents used to let my sister play on a gameboy if we were out for dinner with a large group because social situations overwhelmed her. He was sympathic because as small child he was the same, and his mum used to bring a book for him to sit somewhere quiet and read. Maybe this child is the same. I find it ironic that people are decrying wasting time on electronics while posting from computers on message boards :)  I am sure you could find plenty of people who would find spending time on ehell sad, and inform us we'd be better off going for a walk.

That being said, my children do not play with anything, electronic or not, when food shows up. I do believe that my kids should learn to be social and eat their meals without distraction. However, the child in the OP isn't mine and I don't know his temperment, so I won't judge what his parents do to make it through a quiet meal once in a while.

POD

My son is too old to be entertained by kid menu games and still too young for adult conversation, so he plays his handheld until food arrives.  I definitely draw a line at playing while eating, and I do expect him to respond to people when they speak to him even if he's in the middle of a game.  It works for us, and he's a very sociable kid.

I don't think the OP said anything wrong.  Telling her son that he needed to focus on food, not video is one of her rules.  Just because the person sitting next to her doesn't follow that same rule doesn't mean she's rude to remind her kid of it.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 02:27:57 PM »
I have to admit, my biggest reason for not letting kids play with devices would be that I wouldn't want any dressings, oil or grease dripping or getting smeared on the screen/buttons. Or crumbs jambing up the keys.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

CakeEater

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 08:39:02 PM »
I don't think there's anything 'sad' about keeping a 4-year-old entertained during an adult dinner. There's plently of time to teach him to socialise during meals. Perhaps that's a work in progress at their house. All kids do not develop these skills at the same rate.

OP, I have been the person with a portable DVD on (very quietly) at a dinner for my DD with autism and had other kids be distracted. I would have interpreted your comment as talking about you and your family and what you all do during meals, which is, of course, the ideal.

My Dad made a comment once early on about not thinking that I would be the type of parent to do that, and no, I probably wouldn't be if I didn't have a kid who needed it. Incidentally, she is not 4 yet, and we have trained her out of needing the DVD to eat, which is great, but it was a lot of work, and I'd be completely understanding of someone still doing it.

I completely understand how distracting it is for others, though, and we only ever went out when we thought our presence was more desirable than the DVD was annoying. And that wasn't often!

BeagleMommy

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Re: Children, meals, and iPads. Did I do okay?
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2013, 11:56:26 AM »
OP, I don't think you did anything wrong.  You gave your child a consequence if he did not change his behavior and followed through when he didn't.

I have to wonder if Johnny might not be so shy if he wasn't electronically distracted all the time.  I would let DS take his handheld game to restaurants until the food arrived.  Once his plate was set in front of him the game went in my purse.