Sometimes I’m embarrassed for my children to be seen playing on my iPod Touch or iPad. It seems that’s all children do these days and I don’t like to contribute to the impression. Sure there are educational apps, but I won’t get started on that.
I like to limit the time spent, but since summer hit, it has crept upward.
As soon as we get in the car, someone asks to play one of my devices. I’ve gotten in the habit of allowing it. What’s the big deal? They didn’t play much at home so I just let them.
We recently waited outside my husband’s office for him to come collect a delivery. I had shakily decided that morning we were taking a break from games in the car. They could learn to sit and look out the window because I believe boredom has a place.
So as we sat my oldest, who loves animals and nature said,
“Wow! Look at all those birds!”
On the roof in front of us, birds were swarming like a bunch of roaches. It was an amazing sight we all enjoyed.
This moment helped me to stand more firm on the decision I had made. I pointed out that if they had been playing games while we waited, they would have missed such a sight.
A window stood between them and the world outside of the car; another kind of window sometimes sits in their lap. One is quick to produce marvels at the touch of a finger; the other demands a waiting gaze; attention.
I realized it’s not about contributing or not to what everyone else is doing; it’s about habit.
I’ve decided I’m willing to greatly reduce a hindrance that can shape a mind slowly but surely away from a curious, thoughtful life and into one that has a quick, easy solution whenever boredom knocks.
Habits like that never changed the world, I’m pretty sure.