Have you ever felt disapproving looks when your kids are at a restaurant busy on their devices? I have. More than once to be honest.
See, I used to feel a lot of guilt for having my kids on the phone while we were enjoying our meal at a restaurant. But I eventually came to realize that it was giving my husband and me a much-deserved break.
I stopped caring about what others think. Here are the six reasons why I’ve decided to let our kids be on their devices at a restaurant.
1. Every Parent Needs a Break
After a long week or long day catering to our kids, driving them to their activities, and finding fun things for them to do, parents need a break: a break like a warm meal without any interruptions.
2. They Practice Their Manners
We have taught our kids to order their food. Also, they know to take their eyes off of their devices when their food is delivered to politely thank the server.
3. They Learn Device Usage Etiquette
We have always made sure that they are considerate to others, such as having a low volume on their devices or wearing their headphones.
4. Sometimes They Use Their Devices Less Than You Would Think
We still interact as a family. In fact, many times they divert their attention to write or draw on the kids’ menu they were given. Or they play with each other.
5. Screen Time Can Be Educational
They usually either watch a movie or play educational games. Plus, there are tons of free educational apps you can download for your kids.
Your sanity is important. My husband and I can have conversations, enjoy a meal, a cocktail, and our marriage.
So, no, I don’t think my kids will become a failure for some extra time on their devices, nor that they are missing quality time with their parents. We play with them, we read with them, we have conversations, and we do a ton of fun stuff as a family. Some extra time on their devices won’t damage them.
People will always judge. They’ll stare, and they’ll make comments. But they don’t know you or your reasons to allow this, so let them mind their own business. Plenty of parents will high-five you along the way!
Originally published July 2021.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.