By Amy Dickinson
October 10, 2014
Dear Amy: Scenario: Grandsons, 7 and 5, at a restaurant or a party with no other children to talk to and nowhere for them to play.
They are not at this age interested in adult conversation.
Is it wrong for them to amuse themselves playing on an iPad?
My oldest son (not their father) thinks they should not be playing with their iPad. He thinks they should sit still and talk to the adults. — Wondering Grandma
Dear Grandma: Scenario: Judgmental but loving uncle pulls out all the stops to introduce his nephews to the wonders of adult fun by engaging them in conversation, introducing them to other adults and basically bridging the extreme gap between their world and his.
Ten minutes later he’ll be ready for his second cocktail and reaching for the iPad.
I gather that this son does not have children. And I wonder if he would be so judgy if the boys brought along a shoe box of small plastic dinosaurs, books or a deck of Old Maid cards with which to amuse themselves (as mine used to do before technology was available to the masses).
It might be the iPad itself that causes your son such pain. Many people see this technology as in and of itself a bad thing, when the technology simply enables a greater variety of amusement than a child could carry in a suitcase.
This awkwardness also seems to be a great argument for getting a sitter. One valuable lesson of childhood is that some experiences are only for adults.