A few years ago my aunt got a new car and my little cousins were so excited… over the DVD player in the backseat. More recently, I was driving home with my friend on the Northern State Parkway last weekend, just after midnight, and saw a minivan with not only one DVD player in the backseat, but one behind the driver seat and one behind the passenger seats. Two DVD players for kids in the back!?
For long car rides, I kind of understand. It keeps them entertained. It makes the ride go faster. And, of course, for the parents it eliminates the question “Are we there yet?”
However, aren’t long car rides the time for family bonding, playing alphabet and license plate games? I fondly remember when my family was moving up from Florida to New York, my sister and I piled all the Barbie dolls and accessories into the backseat and played for hours, literally. I even remember my mom commenting on how nicely we were playing.
Then, there are the trips that aren’t hours to grandma’s house, but rather quick spurts to the supermarket, the dry cleaners, the hardware store. Do kids really need to watch six minutes of a “Dora the Explorer” episode between the house and the destination? Have we handcuffed our children to the screen?
Furthermore, were these technologies created to enhance the car experience for kids, or for mom and dad?