A few weeks ago, we went to a friend’s house for a July 4 barbecue. Ryan didn’t want to go. The children at the party were mostly girls, and Ryan was quite certain he wanted nothing to do with them.
As has become our custom, we told him to bring his iPad. We would prefer Ryan interact with his peers, but we also recognize us merely pushing him to do so is not always going to be enough. Life is about compromise. If we want to get out of the house and go somewhere as a family, bringing along Ryan’s iPad is an accommodation we’re willing to make.
Ryan played with the other kids for a bit, then settled down with the iPad to watch hockey highlights. It wasn’t our first choice, but he was happy and willing to stay, and we had a nice outing for a few hours.
This weekend, we were invited to another cookout, this time at the home of one of Veronica’s co-workers. Though she has two daughters, there were going to be plenty of other kids there, including a few boys, one of whom was close to Ryan’s age. He was less resistant, but we still packed the iPad.
It turns out we could have let it at home.
Ryan arrived, found the other boys at the party, and quickly engaged. He spent the entire time outside, playing games in the pool, talking to the other boys and being social. He didn’t ask what time we were leaving until we were actually preparing to leave.
The iPad? It stayed right where we put it when we walked in the door the entire time. This time, I was glad to see an Apple device turned into a paperweight.