Most parents feel a little bit guilty about parking their kids in front of a tablet, but that doesn't mean it's always a bad thing. Screen time is a valuable tool in our parenting arsenal. A few minutes with the tablet can help you finish folding a load of laundry or endure long waits at the doctor's office, and honestly, how else were you planning on surviving that 9-hour car ride?
Still, even the most useful distractions can end up being more trouble than their worth. Kids can find ways to make that tablet do things you didn't even know were possible. Here are a few things that probably happen every time your kid gets a hold of one:
1. They click every ad they see and download a million apps.
You might think you set all the right parental controls, but you didn't and now everything with a puppy, a kitten, an Angry Bird, or the Bubble Guppies is fighting for space on your device.
2. They make unapproved purchases.
Did you know the Krabby Patties in that Spongebob game cost money? Well, they do and now your kids can't go to college. Also, no, you may not have a refund.
3. The battery dies. They cry.
There's nothing worse than being elbow-deep in a sink full of dirty dishes when a kid starts yelling at you to plug in the charger at increasingly higher intervals until all the words get muddled together in a puddle of impatient tears.
4. It freezes. They cry.
Trying to frantically close apps and get things to load before the epic meltdown begins is sort of how I'd imagine it feels attempting to dismantle a bomb, except unlike in the movies you're not going to come through at the last second. The explosion will happen.
5. If you have more than one kid, everything turns into a fight.
Your kids will physically harm each other over Fruit Ninja and no, it won't be this cute.
6. They watch the weirdest YouTube videos ever.
What is so interesting about watching other people open toys? Is this how humans go extinct -- on the couch, alone, watching a little boy 3,000 miles away unwrap a remote control car?
7. They beg for whatever is in any ad they see, even if they don't know what it is.
"Mom. Mom! Moooooom! Can we get a Discover card? It says you can get a trip to Disney Land!"
8. They never want to give the tablet back. Ever.
You're done with whatever you were doing and they want one more show, one more turn, one more video, one more song. One turns into seven and you basically have to pry it from their hands lest the become fused to the sofa and forget physical activity exists, just like all the experts said they would.