Toddlers & Tablets! Babysitting or Abuse?

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An Open Letter to the Parent Next to Us at the Restaurant Last Night,

 

Dear Sir and Madam,

Let me start by saying that I hope your meal was as lovely as mine.  Perhaps you found yourself at the restaurant after reading the same glowing Yelp review that I did about their fun family ambiance and killer potato wedges.  (And really, MylahKim32, you NAILED it.  Those potato wedges were FABULOUS.)

Now, to get to the nitty gritty.

First of all, I really understand the desperate need for ‘adult time’ and some real grownup conversation.  I do.  I understand.  Parenting is a hard gig and our time is really no longer our own.  (At least, it feels like that.  All the time.  Forever.)

Secondly, I also appreciate that taking a small child to an eatery is a task not for the weak of heart.  Two and three year olds are unruly and impulsive, making a dining experience outside of the home an act of heroics.

Thirdly, I would like to say that I appreciate that you wanted to keep your child calm and quiet for the other diners at the establishment.  It was wonderful for you to be so thoughtful of all of our needs.

All of that being said, I wanted to write to you about the behavior I witnessed at your dinner table.  Watching from the next seat over, I would be remised to not share with you some of the concerning behavior and habits I observed at your table.  Some things that might need some intervention.

Not your child’s – yours.

The tablet device you handed your child at the beginning of dinner was nearly twice the size of him, and hard for him to hold onto, yet every time it dropped to the table, you snapped at him to be careful and not break ‘your’ toy.  Also, telling him that you will withhold dessert if he gets grease on the device is absurd.  He was three years old at most.  You were handing him French fries off your plate.  What did you honestly expect was going to happen?

And the earbuds that he was wearing were clearly so so so loud that they must have been causing damage.  If I can hear the music from the Bear Game he was playing, then those are turned up way too loud.

Lastly, I wanted to let you know that you might want to clear your browser history on your device before giving it to your adorable little boy and then promptly ignoring him.  He, myself, as well as the sweet waitress waiting on you all got a little show of some of your more…adventurous…outfits and extracurricular activities. (To that extent, I congratulate you.  Not everyone can pull off the leather and chains look.  You succeed admirably.)

I guess what I’m trying to say is:  The tablet is a great tool, but not a babysitter.  If you really needed a night out (and what parent doesn’t), you would have been better suited to find a human babysitter.  A tablet is a tricky thing for a toddler to handle, especially un-monitored.  And while the technology is fabulous and can do a lot of things, it can’t replace parenting.  Your child deserves better, and you deserve a kid-free night without worrying about lasting hearing damage and your child seeing your fetish pictures while eating French fries.

So, here is to delicious potato wedges and a night out!

Most sincerely,

Jade

Written by admin

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