By Whitney from RookieMoms.com
When Henry Ford launched his automobile into the world, he had never even heard of television. Now, minivans come equipped with them.
Back when the current generation of parents were themselves children, and Sesame Street was part of the average American media diet, car trips were full of Are we there yets and Slug bug YELLOW! punches. Now, children can immerse themselves in a Pixar video and look out the car window for the first time just in time for the car to roll into the LEGOland parking lot. Siblings may speak less than five words to each other during a two-hour ride.
Is this healthy?
Isn’t gazing out the window and learning the lay of your state’s land part of one’s basic education? How about road trip games? That’s quality family time. And being bored? Experts now claim it’s good for children.
On the other hand, when momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy, or so says the frequently quoted adage. So, the possibility of arriving at a destination without enduring hours of bickering and whining is a tremendous upside to TV in the car.
So, I vote YES to TV in the car. A thousand times yes. I do buy the “being bored is good for kids” argument, but not to the extent that I might suffer for it on a precious vacation day.
Since our car did not come with an embedded DVD player, we attach a portable one to the back of the front seats on rides that exceed one hour. It has two screens so both kids can see the same movie without craning their necks. When we arrive at our destination, we remove the screens to avoid the inevitable requests for movies as we drive from a hotel to a nearby restaurant. (To purchase one like this, search for a “dual screen portable DVD player” on your favorite online store.)
On which side of this debate do you land?
And by the way, you parents who are pretending that handing your kid an iPhone is somehow different than a DVD player, I beg to differ. Unless they are using the camera for documentary purposes, it is unlikely that iPhone users are enjoying the landscape of our great nation.
Whitney Moss is the co-founder of RookieMoms.com along with her partner Heather Flett. They are also the authors of The Rookie Mom’s Handbook: 250 activities to do with (and without!) your baby.