Why your child’s iPad needs a vacation this summer

“Who’s got the iPad?”

“Put that iPad away!”

“Just one more game and that’s it!”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? Since the iPad was introduced in January 2010, life has never been the same for many families. At its unveiling, Steve Jobs eloquently explained why the iPad was a revolutionary way to browse the web, navigate apps, take photos, and browse social media.

But he did not let his own kids use the device.

What???  

In late 2010, he told New York Times journalist Nick Bilton that his children had never used the iPad.

Could it be that Steve Jobs understood the addictive nature of the iPad much better than the average parent?

As for me and my house, we will be iPad free this summer vacation.

As for me and my house, we will be iPad free this summer vacation. You may want to issue the same declaration.  Please know I am not anti-technology. My husband and I don’t use a corded telephone or write notes on parchment paper.  We have smartphones and laptops.

But we do not own an iPad.

Our children are 7, 10, and 12 and they are iPad and phone deprived. You can now tell your children they are not the only ones without these things if you too are a holdout.

After past summer breaks, my oldest child’s friends have asked, “How did you survive the summer without an iPad?  We feel so sorry for you!”

I was curious. Did my son Ethan feel left out? Belittled? Ridiculed?

To my amazement (and relief), he said, “Mom I just wonder about them. All they know how to do is play video games. They don’t know how to play an instrument, or how to do martial arts, or about Winston Churchill. I feel sorry for them!”

Now, I must tell you that Ethan entered middle school last year and received a school iPad for his homework. That introduced the iPad to our home, but because the groundwork had been laid in the years prior, it wasn’t a problem. It did not become a battlefield.

The rules were clear. He only used it for homework after school and then powered off. His younger sisters never asked once to use it. Of course, there were times where I thought his homework was taking too long and I had to remind him to finish up.

On the last day of school, he turned in his iPad. With open arms, I welcome the iPad free summer.

I know an iPad free summer may sound daunting, and even impossible. What in the world will your children do to stay out of trouble (and out of your hair) if they don’t have that source of entertainment?

You may want to limit the iPad to one hour a day, or to watch one episode, or to use during certain days of the week.

Your kids probably won’t rise and compliment you on your excellent parenting skills, but in the absence of the iPad, they will be forced to do other more beneficial things this summer. Like riding bikes, swimming, reading, visiting museums, learning to cook, or playing kickball.

Give your iPad a much deserved vacation this summer.  You might just save your family’s vacation in the process.

A few years ago, Ethan traveled by train to a historical mission on a 5th grade field trip. My husband chaperoned and noticed 99 percent of the kids were glued to their devices during the entire train ride. Only he and Ethan seemed to catch the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean on the way home.

You don’t want your child to spend the majority of the summer glued to a screen. Like the kids on that train ride, he or she will miss the beauty of the sunset and so much more.

Your child’s iPad is probably overworked and crying out for a break. Give your iPad a much deserved vacation this summer. You might just save your family’s vacation in the process.

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