How My Kid Is Still Alive After Hurricane Sandy Shut Down School

Forget breast vs. bottle or spanking vs time out. There’s a new parenting taboo in town. Now the judgy moms are giving you the stink eye for daring to let your kids get sucked into the world of electronic gadgetry.

Don’t you know they should go outside and play? Don’t you know there’s a childhood obesity crisis? Don’t you know the new trend in parenting is to find your inner Luddite?

Let me tell you something.

I love my daughter. She’s a pretty cool kid. But Hurricane Sandy shut down school for three days last week. Now, I know, that’s less time than many, many, many parents had to spend with their kids so far up their @ss that they could hardly fart. But the point still is, the kid was home … and here we are a week later, and she’s alive!

Heck, I am alive! I have survived Hurricane Bored-Out-Of-Her-Mind 7-Year-Old!

And now for the real confession. I am not embarrassed to say I leaned heavily on the gadgetry.

Before Sandy showed up, I charged my iPad and I made her charge her Kindle. My thinking was simple: if we lost power, we’d be in the dark for a big chunk of time. Like most 7-year-olds, my daughter is leery of the dark. Telling her to go play with her toys in her playroom or bedroom wasn’t going to happen … not unless we went with her. And I would much rather cuddle up on the couch with a lot of blankets to stay warm.

And what about when the dark lifted? Sending her outside to play wasn’t going to happen. We were in the middle of a hurricane.

So letting her while away the hours playing Fruit Ninja and Where’s My Water happened. It didn’t kill any of us. If anything, it made us a more pleasant bunch.

Yes, we played a few board games in there (have you tried Spot It? we’re now obsessed). We all read. A lot. She made her way through a few of her favorite Babymouse books for the gazillionth time. But she’s a fast reader, and the power was out for awhile.

And then it all came back, and that meant I had to go back to work. Which meant I had to actually get things done with her in the house.

Why, hello XBox with Kinect!

We turned it on, and she spent three hours one afternoon on her feet, jumping, twisting, kicking. She played soccer. She played tennis. She went whitewater rafting. All without leaving our living room. If this sounds like an advertisement for Microsoft, I only wish. I would gladly join the chorus of voices singing their praises. My kid exercised her little heart out, practiced critical thinking skills, and stayed out of my hair so I could function at work to help put food on our table.

Tell me where we lost here?

Oh, right. Because I didn’t have her spend the week the new old way, the trendy way. I figured out how to harness today’s technology to be a positive parenting tool. We “plugged in” to what’s worth it for us.

And my kid survived the week. I survived the week.

Do you feel like parents judge each other too much over how kids use technology? Are your kids plugged in?

Have you “liked” Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet?

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