Laptops, tablets, smartphoes. Hey dear parents, you really can’t take care about your kids without those things??
Lately I had one travel magazine in my hands. Travelling parents are giving tips about travelling with kids. I read it. And then again and again. It was something like: „The best friend of a travelling parent is… tablet or smartphone. Those two, together with favourite games of your child, will give you calmness during a long flight, thanks to it your kid will stand visiting another temple, while sitting in his stroller. How important a tablet is, we realised once we lost it and we had to find some activities for our kid on our own“. (they have been to Malesia)
„Will stand“? „Give you calmness“? Those words (in Polish they sound even worse) made me seriously think. Pack you kid into the stroller, give him tablet to his hand and… go and visit a temple? A temple?? Such an amazing, different, exciting, magic place? How many stories sleep between the walls of a temple, how many questions can appear, how much space for imagination: kids’ and yours? In Tonga and in Fiji, people are keeping on asking us: why do you talk with your kids so much? Shiiiiit, maybe it’s not about cultural differences at all? When I read those parents’ tips, I see that not.
On the next day after reading the magazine, I received by email a little survey. For parents of kids from 2 on. „Which of those things your kid owns: a computer, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone?“. Yyyyy. Nothing. „How many hours a day your kid spends alone on watching cartoons and playing games on the computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone?“ Yyyy. Hm, on the uninhabited island, when it was raining for 3 days – we watched two movies. But altogether, so it doesn’t count? Ah, and in New Zealand, when Mila was sick and we rent a little house – girls were watching Pippi on the tablet and we were preparing the video for you. And once at night, in the port, was too dark for drawing, Mila was already sleeping and Hanna was watching some musical.
We really spend a lot of time on „long“ flights, ferry rides, drives. And we have to „find some activities for our kid on our own“, even if I would never call it this way. Somehow it doesn’t feel heavy for us. Even opposite. Am I not normal? And will my kids be not ready for the world, if in the plane, instead of turning on the tablet, they put on their heads paper bags and play: for few minutes that they are a fire-brigade, then that they are princesses, then cooks and then they are trying to catch the clouds through the window, and then they ask for pencils, then they talk with some people and then they maybe even sleep, „giving us the calmness“?
Am I nitpicking? Maybe a bit. But I can’t stand seeing those kids with heads and brains in the tablets, while family dinners or together eating ice-cream after the kindergarten. And I can’t stand, when somebody (especially an „expert“ in the magazine) tell the others that you can’t go on the trip without something. Dear parents, some of you are just a bit lazy, can it be?
PS. I just met some survey, that shows how gadgets are quickly gaining in popularity, but I’m happy to see that a good old trusty book is the best distraction for restless kids for many too! And – to make it clear! – looong drive is still something totally else than visiting a temple!
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »