Taking Advantage of Electronics in the Car �

So you have a DVD player in your car. My guess is that you chose it intentionally, and that you love it, whether it came installed or you bought a portable one. It's something you chose to add. But I've got another guess too. My second guess is that you feel guilty that you love it, and maybe even guilty that you have it. When you bring up the fact that you have it, you're quick to justify that "we almost never turn it on!" or "it's just for road trips over x hours" or something similar. Admitting that you roll into the school pick-up line with your toddler watching Mickey in the minivan feels like admitting that you're a bad parent.�

In this day and age, a lot of kids have tablets, or at least the use of them. Moms feel shame handing over the tablet in the car, and are careful to downplay their use. But here's the thing. Sure, we didn't grow up with these electronics in the car, and we survived just fine. But we also rode in the back of station wagons, gave up carseats earlier, and spent many whiny hours complaining on the way to Grandma's. We've embraced car safety, and we can embrace electronics too, especially if we use them in meaningful ways. In fact, you can even take advantage of them.�

In our car, the DVD player is used daily. I should be ashamed, but the only things allowed in the DVD player during the week are educational videos. My preschooler can learn the alphabet, and my kindergartener can watch a science show, all while running errands. I started saving these DVDs for the car only when my oldest child was three, and it makes them special. When she entered preschool, she was recognizing sight words, knew all her letters, and started basic math. Now she's learning about space or nature. Rather than close off our conversation, the DVDs we choose encourage it. Since I can't see what we're watching, I ask questions, and she gives me the information in her own way.�

I'll also admit to being a multitasker. I definitely don't text or use my Smartphone when I drive, but I do like to make phone calls that it's hard to make with two small kids underfoot. Bluetooth lets me return phone calls and catch up with friends and family while I'm running to dance class, preschool, or sports in a safe way. And to make sure that these folks can actually hear me, I've started the rule that if I'm going to use my phone, they can use their tablets too. Without wi-fi in the car, I know that they're playing many of the educational games I have loaded for them. They're happy and quiet, and that makes a great car ride. Guilt is a tricky thing. Sometimes we feel like we should feel guilty about any hack that seems to make our lives easier. But if we're conscious about how we use them, electronics in the car is something that we should feel proud for embracing. � � � � � � ��

About the Author: Meredith Napolitano blogs at FromMeredithtoMommy.com, where she writes about raising kids while keeping her own identity as well! From kids's activities to organizational products, from parenting tips to suggestions for Mom's Night Out, she's got you covered! Follow her on�Facebook!

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