“Sweetie, do you know how to tell time?” “Yeah, the iPad app shows me how!”
“OK Mommy can you stop talking now. Because I can’t hear the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Song on my iPad.”
I had this absurd conversation with my four and five-year-old daughters one weekend, while they were playing an episode of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on their iPad mini.
Now I am all for the occasional iPad use for educational purposes. I have even been known to let my girls use it for a few quiet minutes while I manage to do a few things around the house.
But I started to fear that they were moving from being recreational users to being downright addicts. And even more horrified to realize that I was their dealer.
If your children are showing any of these signs you might want to look into Apple rehab for you and your family:
10 Ways to Find Out if Your Kid Is Addicted to the iPad
1. When they wake up in the morning they immediately ask for the iPad first thing instead of saying good morning.
2. When asked to clean up their mess, they tell you there is an app for that.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Kids and moms wish there was an app for cleaning up messes!” quote=”Kids and moms wish there was an app for cleaning up messes!” theme=”style1″]
3. At meal times, they text you their food order.
4. They make The Price Is Right contestants look inferior as they can bargain with the best of them to get to use the device during the day.
5. They mistake Siri’s advice for mom or dad imparting some words of wisdom upon them.
6. Your phone’s photo storage is completely full with pictures of Barbie’s fashions, Easy Bake cupcake creations, and crazy kid selfies.
7. When you take the iPad away from them they go through a metamorphosis similar to when Bruce Banner changed into The Incredible Hulk.
8. You find your kid stroking their iPad and calling it their “Precious,” not unlike Gollum from The Lord of the Ring’s does.
[clickToTweet tweet=”What do the mobile devices for kids and Lord of the Rings have in common?” quote=”What do the mobile devices for kids and Lord of the Rings have in common?” theme=”style1″]
9. When the battery dies from over-usage or just plain forgetting to charge it, your precious child goes through withdrawal symptoms similar to Jim Breuer in Half Baked.
10. While saying their prayers at night they ask God to bless their iPad and keeps it safe from harm’s way while they are sleeping!
Of course I’m not saying I have seen any of these signs from my own precious angels. But I will admit that after some soul searching I have decided to rethink our families iPad use. We have instituted specific times for the girls to play with their beloved devices. I am happy to report that besides one (very needed) slip when I had the flu, we are all on the road to recovery.
A version of this article was republished with permission on Mom Babble and In the Powder Room.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
My kids would be on their iTouches, Kindles and 3DS’s all day if I would let them. I have to watch them very closely.
I know Robin like I said same here and definitely kerp a very close on mine, as well.
Hehe, cute list! I’m worried about when Eve starts using technology–she’s already quite interested in my phone and the computer. Whenever we Facetime with my family she keeps trying to press the keys.
Bev, I just had to share this list and yes it is challenging at times, but try my best for the most part to just be on top of both girls usage and time on the iPad here.
Seana Turner says
I’ve heard from clients that the iPad (and similar electronic gaming devices) are the “toy of choice” for their children. Its amazing how much even young children are drawn to this type of toy, and so different from my own experience. My children were too old for this trend, and I’m not really sure how it is going to play out. I think it has so many potential benefits, but limiting screen time is a wise idea.
I agree Seana. I do my best to limit, but still I couldn’t resist taking this one on tongue and cheek 🙂
Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama says
Lol at precious!!! My kids are absolutely addicted to the tablets (which is why we had to get two–way too much fighting) but they are only allowed one hour per day and that isn’t until all homework and dinner is done. But like you said they ask me for it from the moment they wake up.
Nellie, I know the moment (especially Lily) wakes she will ask for it and like you it is given (and they know this) as a reward after all homework is done during the week. On the weekend, I am a bit more lenient, but still give time limits.
Liza | @aMusingFoodie says
Too funny – especially appreciate the Gollum reference. LOL!
Lisa, I just couldn’t resist!! 🙂
We’re really lucky that our boys aren’t addicted – they only use it in the morning before school for about 30 minutes. Cars and Lego however . . . 🙂
Alison, it is princess, Barbie and Legos, here oh my 🙂
The Dusty Parachute says
I’m arranging a PTA presentation with a psychologist who is going to teach us some tips on dealing with technology addiction. I’ll let you know if he has some good tips. 🙂 (I’m worried he’s going to tell me to stop staring at Facebook all day).
Again thank you so much and please do share any tips you learned with me, because definitely could benefit from this sort of help 🙂
Ginny Marie says
Too funny! My kids share our Nook Tablet, and they have become addicted to a Frontier game where you build your own town! They have been very good about sharing it, so I have no complaints.
I know as long as they are sharing and not fighting, I consider it a win here, too 🙂
Diane Roark says
It does not get any easier when they are teens. My oldest son is totally addicted to his phone. I make him leave it in the kitchen every night for charging and to make him take a break from it. He now goes to bed later and later because he is on social media, etc.
Take care! I know a blizzard is headed your way.
Diane, definitely like that you make him take a break from it and think we all could benefit from down time from social media (myself included). Thanks and the snow is already coming down here now.
Cute list – my favorites were the one about “Precious” and including the iPad in nightly prayers!!!
Kim, I tried to go through the course of a day and think those two truly just hit me and knew I had to include 😉
Definitely sounds like Zachary!
Lol Dara! He and my gorls would get along so well 😉
1. Am I any better? I tell them it’s dinner time by texting.
2. It would be one thing if there were two or three selfies that look alike. But they hold the shutter down or something, and rack up 33 only-slightly-different selfies on dad’s phone when he isn’t looking.
3. Sometimes, I’ll ask my kids, “are you feeling all right?” if their faces are lit up in blue by their device screens.
Eli, if i could I would so text them for dinner time. As it was the other day, Emma face timed from the iPad to my phone (both under my accounts) to tell me that I forgot something at the store and while I was out to get it for her!!
Katie | The Surly Housewife says
I was giggling so much at this list. “There is an app for that!” Hahaha. My kids have designated iPad time at the end of the day. As long as they have earned it. They know they are gonna get their “fix” so they aren’t begging for all day long. Super cute list 🙂
Katie, I so try with designated time, but still in times like the blizzard coming I have a feeling this will all go out the window right about now!! 😉
BWAHAHA! Oh this is riotously funny. I have had moments where I feel like they really are like little Golem’s stroking their precious technology pieces. Perhaps the apple (no pun intended) doesn’t fall far from the tree though since they might see Mom doing the same thing…. Thanks for the great laugh today!
Jen, the apple definitely doesn’t sadly fall far from the tree here and I can so hang my head in shame, too!! 😉
I guess we live in the Dark Ages at our house. Nobody owns an ipad here. Sigh! Have a great Monday, Janine.
Aww, not dark ages just probably less stressful indeed!! Happy Monday once again, Bill 🙂
My middle son in on the ipad right now. I try to watch the time on it….but sometimes I just want to shower. Or read blogs. 🙂
Stephanie, I know the feeling and the shower and reading blogs sometimes wins out here, too 🙂
Hahahaha and YES, my kids are pretty attached to their iPads! Sometimes they literally do wake up and say “can I play the iPad” with their eyes still closed!! But, like everything else, it comes and goes. Sometimes they incessantly watch YouTube videos and then they want me to read them like 1,000 books. Right now I think it’s pretty balanced and I thank God for iPads when I go to sleep at night because without them, my husband and I could never take the kids out for a meal!!
Allie, the meals out have truly been saved because of the iPad and like you not going to lie about that here at all!! 🙂
This is a great list! I have to say my youngest hardly uses technology and is happy to pretend a book is her ipad. Don’t even think about opening it, or reading it. It’s an IPAD! But my middle would spend all day on hers, playing Minecraft, if she could. So I need to limit her use. The eldest uses hers to make videos and to film herself doing gymnastics so it’s “active ipad usage.” I’m the one who is addicted to my laptop and smartphone…
Shannon, since I got my iPhone 6, I am more addicted to that then anything, as well as my MacBook. But my girls, of course, from this, as you know are more iPad then anything else. They are still too young for Minecraft, but was just having a huge conversation this past weekend with my niece’s daughter who is a bit older and loves Minecraft, too 😉
lisacng @ expandng.coms says
Judging by these HILARIOUS signs, yes, I have a 4 year old addicted to the iPad. My son whispers, “Can I play on the iPad” first thing in the morning (whispering to be nice), and when I say “No”, he SCREAMS “WHY NOT??!?!?!” Oh my gosh, the insanity. Nevertheless, I think he also enjoys other activities, so hopefully he’s balanced :).
I know my I am hoping mine are well balanced, too but still like yours I get asked every morning, but definite loudness when I have to say, “No”, too! 😉
I’m laughing but it’s definitely an issue! My kids are addicted to their devices too. My oldest son watches shows online rather than on the tv, and my daughter is never far from her phone. My youngest is not that far behind the two of them. And I have been texted from upstairs, which I find ridiculous.
Michelle, I know texting is coming sooner or later here, as well!!! God help me 😉
Lindsay Klein says
Such an awesome post I’m soooo scared of and I don’t have kids yet! I went to a yoga workshop recently and the teacher told us how these days the kids are programmed from day one to watch TV in the car, borrow mom and dad’s technology etc, it’s DANGEROUS….We got to build our imagination, play outside, stare out the window……I’ll be asking all of you for tips one day! I know the difference between free time away from technology and getting work done…..but my generation saw the transition. I didn’t have a computer at college, etc etc……Too much technology is turning people into robots:( Ok I’m done venting, I loved this post!
Aww, loved your vent and you know your sister will totally give you advice, too, but will always be happy when you are in need to help if I can. But seriously, I agree this transition happened way after college here for me and if you would have asked me back then if it would have come to this, I never would have imagined. Not in a million years!!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
HA! My favourite was “stroking the iPad” like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Too funny. I think I do that sometimes with my iPhone… except I’m not as skinny, have more hair, and I’m fully clothed.
Thanks for sharing.
Lol, Jennifer I know nobody better mess with my iPhone either!! xoxo 🙂
Elaine Griffin says
Seriously, all of this is funny but too true. I’m having a HUGE problem with my 8-year old right now. The stinger is I didn’t buy them – my ex in-laws did, without seeking input. So…I might not have allowed him to have one, you know? I’m kind of overworked in many ways as it is, and having to pry that baby out of his hands and endure the withdrawal symptoms is about as much as I can handle. I’m trying though!
Elaine, we did buy the one for the kids to share this past Christmas ourselves as before they would borrow ours, but still I truly do know the feeling of trying to pry it out of both my girls’ hand and like I said sadly I have no one but myself to blame for it!
Elaine Griffin says
Well, I didn’t have such a stiff back for a while, and so this is partly my doing too! I totally feel ya!
Elaine, sounds like we can most definitely relate more then we thought and yes I do totally feel you 😉
I really like that list! That was funny! My daughter is starting to become a little too into her tablet. It does help out in a pinch though. She likes the games and she knows how to put on her Mickey shows, Daniel Tiger, movies and just about everything else. And the weird thing is that sometimes we find her watching the oddest videos on YouTube. Yesterday she was watching something about cleaning strawberries (?) and my husband and I were like, how is she finding this stuff??
Karen, my girls have found some weird stuff on YouTube, too and usually, because they like watching these videos that show how to play with the toys they want. But yes totally crazy stuff on there and couldn’t agree more.
This list is hilarious! And yes, my kids are addicted to all their electronics… ipad and more! I’m anxious for spring so we can get out a bit more.
Alexa, I know as I type this I am sitting inside with the apparent blizzard of the century and longing for spring to unplug more to be honest, too 😉
My kids are definitely not addicted, I think I’m on the other side of the spectrum. I think I need to give them more app time since it seems like other kids are learning so much more. My daughter uses her tablet, an Innotab, but not a regular one with access to any internet site.
April, the apps really are great for learning and no complaints here from me on that front. Just can’t believe even at this young age then get so caught up in these devices though.
Literally watching my little on play on the iPad right now.. so yes. Yes she is. lol! – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com
Aww, too funny and glad it isn’t just us 😉
Debbie McCormick says
I like your lighthearted post about this. On another note, I think many kids are addicted to gaming. My oldest son became an addict as an adult it it broke my heart. It took counseling and actual rehab to pull him through it. Now with my smallest kids ages 8, I am very careful to unplug them. I let them play on the ipad a few times a week for only about 30 minutes. It is important for kids to learn how to have fun without gaming all the time.
Debbie, I couldn’t agree more and truly am so aorry to hear this about your oldest son, but am at least happy to know that rehab did help him.
Chris Carter says
Too funny Janine!! My kids actually get tired of it after a while. THANK GOD. And I for one, LOVE it when they get all invested in a game- as long as they are quiet? I’m cool with that! 🙂
Now FIGHTING over their (actually MINE) ipad? That is another story altogether. UGH.
Cheis, I know exactly what you mean as we got them the one iPad to share for Christmas. So we have definitely had our fair share of fights over it here for sure, too.
Hah! Too funny. Kay totally morphs into the hulk when she is told that tv/computer/ipad time is over.
Camille, we have had a few Hulk moments here, too!
Kathy Radigan says
As the mom of a 16 year old I can say that it if we left him to his own devices he would never be off his phone. And I have to hand it to him, the I’m doing this for homework, did get him a little bit more time in the beginning. But fortunately my husband and I were not born yesterday! Lol! You really do have to put a limit on it, and as they get older it really can just go from bad to worse. I will say though that my favorite thing about electronics is that it has made coming up with consequences so easy since all we have to do is take away the phone or web access!
Kathy, by far the consequences for this truly are my favorite and not going to lie. That said, I am like you and try my best to set limits for both the girls, because they would totally live on the iPad if they could all day and night long now!!
The Imp says
We’re an iPad free house. Not b/c of any parenting skills or choices, but b/c we’re too broke. If one got one, they’d ALL want one.
And the idea of the Minions running around w/such expensive electronics is enough to give me a permenant eye twitch. And my bank account sob.
Lol, we only got one for two kids to share and even that was pushing it here. As it is, my bank account has been sobbing since having kids and truly doesn’t know any other way, I suppose 😉
My kids don’t have iPads but they have other electronic devices that they don’t ever want to let go of. I try to keep some limits on it so they know how to function without.
They are great to have on planes though, really kept them occupied.
Jack, I just booked Disney for the summer for us and will be a 3 hour flight. So, guess what we will be sure to have in our overhead carry on for them for sure!! 🙂
The end is hilarious. I let my kids play on their devices. I don’t feel guilty. But like everything, it’s with moderation. They have limits, they know them, and sometimes they groan but usually it’s all okay. 🙂 Hubby…that’s another story. I think he’s beyond help. Yesterday he had his iPad, laptop and iTouch all on and doing something for him while he was studying. 😉
Rosey, don’t even get me started on my husband!! 🙂
Kim @ HappyPrettyBlog says
We’ve got a tablet for Ben but thankfully he’s not old enough yet to know all of the wonderful things you can do with it just yet haha! It is such an awesome tool to have in the car for longer drives though, I don’t know how I’d survive the hour drive to our trailer in the summer time without it!
Kim, it is an awesome tool for longer drives and such and won’t argue one bit with you there 🙂
Jen Kehl says
Janine, you are KILLING ME! My son left my iPad at my parents house on Saturday, every morning, every night it is I NEED MY IPAD!!! And I say “It’s my iPad!” But we all know the truth. He cannot live without his Precious!
Jen, God help me if mine left their iPad somewhere I would never, ever hear the end of it either 😉
love the new look babe! I love this list…too funny, I think I am way to addicted to my smart phone…I need help!
Karen, you and me both!! And thank you for your kind words about my blog design, too 🙂
Thanks Christy and my younger daughter actually knew the word iPad at 13 months, so couldn’t agree more!
Brittany Bullen says
This is hilarious, and I think I need to apologize in case this is really old news but did you give your blog a makeover? It looks AWESOME! I need to visit here more often and I’m sorry it’s been a while since I have. I hope you are all doing well and had a great holiday season!
No apologies Brittany and just thank you so much for your kind words about my blog design and article today, too 😉
Rabia @TheLiebers says
My kids are definitely addicted…but then again so am I! I justify that by reminding myself of all the learning apps they are playing with.
Rabia, I know the learning apps really do make it so much more justifiable 🙂
Kenya G. Johnson says
LOL! This was funNY! I am guilty of being a dealer. During the school year there is “no electronics” Monday thru Thursday but I have allowed him to use it for a “movie bath” which during that time I’m sure he stays in the water until it’s cold and I have about a whole hour to myself. I have the 1st iPad which is basically only good for watching Netflix now and he claims it as his. The year I got it we had a hurricane. We lost power immediately. I think he was six at the time. After we lost power he said we were doomed because we didn’t have Netflix. After the battery died he said it was the worst day of his life. Mind you we didn’t have power for three days and I couldn’t make coffee! Priorities! 😉
Kenya, I can so picture one of my girls (probably Lily) telling me similar to Christopher if this happened to her now. And yes, Kenya as you can see I have had my moments were I was completely guilty, too 🙂
All I have to do is to threaten to take away their devices and my kids will behave. LOL
I know Shell it is a beautiful thing and definitely a great way to get them to do what they should be doing! 🙂
Denise G. says
OMG! I loved this list! Too funny! My 3 year old will ask me every day, several times a day to play a game, which is code for playing with the iPad. I limit her to 20-30 minutes and try to avoid allowing it everyday, but it is hard.
Aww, thanks Denise and I agree it is so hard. My 4 year old was actually crying again this afternoon that the iPad needed to be charged as they played with it the past few days, but forget to tell me that the battery was low. So, trust me I know it and live so much of this daily!
susen @Dabbling Momma says
uh-oh I think I’ve got an addict over here, lol! Loved this post, thanks for sharing!
My pleasure Susen and addicts here, too 😉
Marcia @ Menopausal Mother says
OMG #7 yes!!! My granddaughter goes NUTS when we take away her iPad to put her to bed!! Funny post, Janine!
Marcia, yes,yes and yes! Seriously, both my girls get ticked to the max when it needs to be taken away!
Well when you’re sick, I think all bets are off, don’t you?
My kids don’t know what iPads are but that’s because we don’t have them. They do know that our little iPhones hold a world of information because whenever I don’t know anything and I’m not near my desktop, Scarlet says, “Look on your phone!”
But she doesn’t use my phone.
All bets are totally off when we are sick! The kids don’t use my phone at all either, but the iPad like I said is another story!! 😉
Aunt Gloria says
You got quite an array of comments on this one! You are smart to restrict the use of the iPad for the girls but I know it can also be an aid in getting some peace and quiet for yourself for a period of time. Sounds like you have it under control. Have a great weekend! xxoo
Thanks Aunt Gloria and was indeed nice to know so many can relate. Have a great weekend too xoxo 😉
The Pinterested Parent says
Lol! Too funny. My daughter does like the Ipad. Luckily we do not use it that often, but when she gets her mitts on it she is entranced. She knows how to access Youtube & has an addiction for those Play-doh videos & those Kinder eggs. She would watch those all day if I let her. “Hey Mai, how about ABC Mouse?” “No, I fine!” Ugh. They are too smart our kiddos.
They are just too smart these kids and again Mai and would truly get along perfectly! 🙂
Ha! Bruce Banner to the Hulk, that is definitely my son.. well ‘was’. We’ve been on the road to recovery ever since we started noticing that behavioral shift, and it scared the shit out of us! Now we are more conscious of screen times and use it as a reward system. With the occasional “go watch a show” so daddy can get stuff done unfortunately, when all other recreational options have been exhausted…
Papa, that is great and stay tuned, because I may have even more of a solution to share very soon 🙂