Should a five year old have access to an iPad-maybe? I mean it certainly has some apps that kids love. And Steve Jobs did help my eldest learn to count when she was 2. I am sure child experts will say limited screen time is a must, or that they shouldn’t be on it at all. I am no expert and I am worried kids are too into gadgets (but adults are the worst example!) This is not about the appropriateness of iPad usage-it is about what to do when your child breaks said iPad.
Our daughter dropped ours and the screen smashed-I mean Charlotte’s Web style. This was an accident though-she literally dropped it. So, anger is not the right reaction. Here is an opportunity for a lesson.
The first question from her scared self-“Can we fix it?-can we get a new one?”
The right answer-“No, we can’t-not now.” The iPad is expensive, it costs a lot of money and we can’t afford to go buy one right now. We need to live WITHOUT this now.”
Whether we could run out and buy a new one, or not is irrelevant. What we can TEACH in this moment is that things cost money-money has value and things that cost money have value. Money has limitations and sometimes we do not have the resources to just buy something.
So, I asked my daughter-“What do you think we can do here?” her first response “Ask Santa for a new one for the next 6 Christmas’s”
This is pretty good, but I followed up with another question “Well, you broke it, so what do you think YOU could do to help fix the accident?”
“Well, Daddy, I could do more chores, I could save my money and I can help buy a new one.”
I responded “Yes, you can, but it will take a really long time to have enough money to get a new one.”
And here is where the life lesson sinks in.
“I have to be okay with that Daddy, it costs a lot of money and i’ll help-we can live without an iPad right?”
“You bet we can darling-you bet we can.”