When I was five, I had a coloring book. Maybe a few picture books. My grandson has an iPad. He had two. One cost almost as much as my laptop.
Tonight, on our way in from a dinner out, he wasn’t listening (imagine that. He’s five…) He was carrying his iPad–the more expensive one–with the protective cover open.
“Please stay on the sidewalk. Stay out of the mud,” I said.
Of course, he didn’t listen. Stepping on the edge of the sidewalk, he got more than mud on his shoes. He tripped and fell. He’s fine (thank God). The very expensive iPad isn’t.
A shattered screen sent his mother into a tirade. I don’t blame her . . . but then again, he’s FIVE. He shouldn’t have been allowed to “play” with such an expensive piece of equipment in the first place.
So now he’s in his room, crying, banished. Banned from any iPad use indefinitely. Does he understand the brevity of the “crime” he’s committed? How can he? He’s FIVE.
My point is this: when I was that age, the biggest crime I could commit would be to break a piece of my mom’s china. Drop a glass. Spill grape juice on the carpet.
Today, the stakes are much higher. When a kid screws up, he can screw up BIG. Like, to the cost of several hundred dollars. That’s what it will cost to replace the screen on the iPad.
What effect will this have on him as he matures? Will he be more careful? Will the scar of having destroyed such an expensive piece of technological equipment serve as a lesson?
I think I liked life better when the worst thing I could do was to drop my three dollar coloring book into a mud puddle.