In recent years, I have been amazed at the number of parents who now provide seatback-mounted DVD players for their children to watch on long journeys.
I know the arguments in their favour – the little toe rags will get bored otherwise and start being awkward – but I’m not sure I believe them all.
I’ve got a sneaking feeling that some parents are just afraid of the learning curve required for children to learn to occupy and entertain themselves by observing the outside world and talking.
I’m also certain that by watching films/cartoons on a 7″ screen intently as you drive along, you are missing out on lots of interesting things on the other side of your window.
As if to confirm my suspicions, I have just come across this story in The Christian Science Monitor (of all places…). The writer, the mother to three young children, recounts the story of a long (US-style) road trip in a DVD and computer game-free vehicle. The outcome was very interesting and more than a little heartwarming.
I’d definitely recommend taking a look.
You can find the full article, “What’s wrong with boredom?”, here.