Technology has revolutionized the way families travel. I remember sitting in the car as my family drove 9 torturous hours up to New Hampshire each summer. My mother would read us the Iliad and the Odyssey from the front seat (no, this is not a joke). My sister and I would listen to cassettes (remember those?) on our Walkman and groan when the batteries died forcing us to listen to our dad’s music.
Today, my own sons are blessed with a plethora of activities they could engage in to stay entertained. Of course our go to these days is the Kindle Fire.
This interactive tablet allows Dek to play games, watch movies and flip through books. I try to limit his use, but there are a few key times in our travels that I take advantage of the Kindle as much as possible.
Keep the Peace as We Commute
Dek has always been a great flyer. He is very slowly turning into a good car passenger. If Dek can hold my “book” as he calls it, he will stay quiet and entertained for hours.
When we have a long flight ahead of us I am more than happy to hand him my Kindle with a set of headphones and let him watch a few shows. This allows me to concentrate on his brother for a bit or get a spot of rest myself.
Little More Sleep for Mama
I’ll admit it. I am a mother who loves her sleep. I relish it. I crave it. I never, ever get enough of it.
My dirty little secret in the mornings is that I let Dek grab my Kindle and watch a show or two in bed with me so I can get a couple more minutes of sleep. As long as Ty is still passed out, I can trust Dek to hang out with me while I sneak in a little more shuteye.
Have you noticed anything different at the table when you go out? Are you seeing the rules of etiquette being broken left and right as parents try to savor two minutes of a meal with their off spring? Yes, that would be me handing my iPhone over to my toddler son when we go out to eat, especially if it has been a very long day.
I can only expect so much from a 3 year old. This is not the solution for everyone, but for our family, a little technology has made our travels that much more enjoyable and taken the stress out of some situations.
The mom guilt is certainly there, but I have to look at the big picture. If a few hours of screen time is what it takes to get us to China or Switzerland so we can have 2 weeks of fun exploring a new place, well then I can live with that.
Do you let your kids play with your Kindle, iPad or tablet?
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written by Keryn Means