Family Time?

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As we sat down to dinner last night in Oscars restaurant in Currambine, a family of 3 pulled in alongside us – mum, dad and 8 year old son.

Immediately upon sitting down dad proceeded to get the son set up with a portable DVD player and headphones. While dinner progressed mum and dad ate and chatted while son sat and watched a movie.

Something in us went ‘what the the hell is happening here?!’

I understand that kids can be hard work at dinner. I understand that a colouring in book is nice or maybe something to keep them amused after its ‘been a while’, but to pull out the DVD player as plan ‘a’ and not even engage with one another was as bizarre as I have seen in a while.

As we look at our trip around Oz next year we are considering some form of in-car entertainment system, but by the same token we are concerned that when we get back and someone asks the kids what they saw as they travelled they will say “Wall – E” or “Madagasgar”.

I wonder if we have become blind to some of the (negative) ways in which technology has interrupted our lives. I am techy junkie and love my tech toys, but I can see some interesting times ahead…

11 thoughts on “Family Time?

  1. We’re doing a trip to Coral Bay next year and I keep suggesting we might get an in car DVD player for the trip but Andrew is dead set against it. His opinion is that the journey to and from the holiday destination is part of the experience and we don’t have to fill the gap with the technology advances in our world just because they are available – we all certainly survived when we were kids. I see his point and have a feeling he will win this one and we will be singing a lot of songs to entertain and that it will be a l-o-n-g journey up north with many many stops…. 🙂

  2. Now you know how I felt when I went to your Forge meeting a few years back – I had an HB pencil and some a4 – I looked around and all I saw were laptops!!!!

    Just curious would the kid happen to be a little obese?

  3. Hamo – when we take Our eldest out to a restaurant we take a laptop and a pair of headphones for him – otherwise he’d be ok for the first 20 minutes, but the intensity of sound within an enclosed space becomes intolerable for him after about that amount of time. I know other families who have children with Autism and Rett syndrome who do the same.

    Or he could have just been a real pain-in-the-arse kid they want to keep quiet. . .

    As for in car entertainment – that’s a tough one, we have resisted so far. Now that they are both nearing reading age I think they may end up reading – as I did. You then have to ask, is it better to miss scenery while reading or while watching Kung Fu Panda.

  4. We have the in car DVD players. We choose the times the kids can watch them. I would never go back. I know that I didn’t have them when I was a kid, but we didn’t have air conditioning either, or CD players…………

  5. no cars??? – luxury –

    well, of course, we had it tough. We used to ‘ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick road clean wit’ tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit’ bread knife.

    And you try and tell the young people of today that ….. they won’t believe you.

  6. Here I was thinking it was only spoilt ex-pat kids who got that deal. Often it’s the Nintendo DS instead of the DVD.

    Mind you, having some back plan is responsible parenting. The colouring in book, comic or quiet small game is a gift not just to the parents, but other diners. But, as you say, that’s a backup in case of delays.

    All that said, some parents just get kids to eat at a different table in the home or at a different time to the grown-ups. Is that any worse?

  7. We fall back on and the blame tech very easily.

    We all know of kids who are parented by technology and yet I still let my kid watch TV and play The Wii.

    Tech simply tool and how you use is important. It is in your Hand.

    If you want to drive 9-10 hours to reach a destination then you need all the help you can get. Looking at the scenery is good But in some part of Oz there is only so much Scrub you can look at…

    Personally we take the DVD player for long trips

    but limit it’s use in favor of coloring books and reading and games. Often it is used as a reward after lunch or in the last part of the trip.

    However the best tool has been the Books on CD/MP3/tape. our kids responded Best to these last trip and it passes the time for the adults too.

    We listened to “HP and the philosophers Stone”last trip and ended up listening to it twice. Local library was a excellent source.

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