i-Scream for my screen
HOW I GOT DEVIOUS ABOUT DEVICES
SCHOOL holidays are over. “Yay!” cheer the parents of NSW. “Boo!” reply the children, pantomime-style.
Actually, the dreaded holidays weren’t too tricky this time around because I followed some good old-fashioned parenting advice and regularly just left the kids to their own devices.
The problem is, those devices were made by multinational electronics corporations.
And now the kids have to be weaned off them again.
Any parent not engaged in an epic battle with their offspring over use of what we might quaintly call “‘video games” a) has unsurpassed negotiation skills and should be appointed President of Earth immediately, or b) is taking part in one of those “living in the 1700s experiments” where the only battle is over who gets to play with the spinning jenny.
So now I’m trying to think up a new word for what I’ve spent the past empty hour doing.
It would describe the action — or, rather, inaction — of simply waiting it out for the battery power to drain on all the electronic devices the kids are currently playing, because you don’t have the energy for the “now stop and put away all the devices” tussle.
A few terms might work: iWait? DS-pair? Parentropy? A friend may have nailed it with Durahell.
Yes, it may seem a massive parental cop-out but any minute now all the lights will fade out on mum’s iPad and dad’s iPhone and the kids will emerge blinking into the day — and this time it won’t be because I’ve cajoled, demanded and finally shrieked at them to turn the blimmin’ things off.
Who knew those devices would be so … divisive?
They promised so much at first — sleek little packets of entertainment magic that delivered a convenient shortcut to child-pacification, especially in cafes and on long-distance travel.
But it’s a slippery slope from allowing an occasional burst on Angry Birds to finding that your small boy has been furtively playing Crossy Road as a pigeon named Poopy on a smuggled iPad for an hour, despite being too young to cross a real road in the real world unaided.
Then there are the warnings that our young will develop square eyes, hyperextended thumbs and the communication skills of the Mario Brothers.
Sure, we impose devicefree periods — we achieved a whole week recently and patted ourselves on the backs, big time — but the second the kids get their hands back on them the crazed glint returns to their eyes and the battle begins again.
So now that school holidays are over it’s time to book the kids into AA — that’s Apple Anonymous.