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To find this shocking or should I loosen my judgey-pants?

(137 Posts)
bluebellewood Thu 08-Sep-11 15:20:19

Visiting my local Coffee shop today I saw a child aged about three sitting at a table with somesort of DVD/ notebook type thing placed about an inch from her face. The child was mezmerised by a leaping, googly eyed,luminous green, computer generated character. The whole time that I was in the cafe she did not take her eyes from the screen.

The parents were enjoying their coffee whilst totally ignoring their child.

What sort of parents think it is a good idea to prevent their child from interacting and engaging with the world around them. To sit glued to a screen even when not at home.

I was so shocked I could have cried for that little girl.

lettinggo Thu 08-Sep-11 15:24:24

Loosen the pants. They were having a nice cup of coffee and enjoying the company of each other, the child was entertained and not annoying them or anyone else. This might be a huge treat for her.

Madlizzy Thu 08-Sep-11 15:25:44

The child may have ASD and be zoned in on the character, and it's a way for the parents to be able to have a coffee out without having to deal with a meltdown.

Bramshott Thu 08-Sep-11 15:25:54

I might mentally raise an eyebrow, but I think you should loosen your judgeypants TBH. You don't know how much TV that child watches at home, nor what's going on in the parents lives right now.

SiamoFottuti Thu 08-Sep-11 15:26:01

You could have cried? Have you fastened your pants around your neck cutting off circulation to your brain? Get over yourself.

mollschambers Thu 08-Sep-11 15:26:42

You could have cried for her? Really?

Think you're over-reacting. You've no idea how she spent the rest of her day.

scurryfunge Thu 08-Sep-11 15:26:50

That what computer are for.....they enable you to completely ignore your child whilst enjoying coffee.

NodsSmilesandBacksAway Thu 08-Sep-11 15:27:27

The parents were enjoying their coffee whilst totally ignoring their child.

sounds par for the course these days sadly

NodsSmilesandBacksAway Thu 08-Sep-11 15:28:12

The child may have ASD and be zoned in on the character, and it's a way for the parents to be able to have a coffee out without having to deal with a meltdown.

the kid could have been a martian beamed down in the last 3 minutes and the parents had absolutely no idea who she was, of course

you never know

MamaMary Thu 08-Sep-11 15:29:30

YAB a little bit U. Maybe she's only allowed it at certain times, e.g. when they're out, so she can be entertained while the parents have a quiet coffee...

unpa1dcar3r Thu 08-Sep-11 15:30:20

What if the child had been reading (or looking at piks) in a book? Would that have been OK?
Same result...absorbed in something it found interesting but probably would've been seeen as acceptable.
Don't worry, itf they were having a 5 course meal I'd say Ok fair enough, but it was only a coffee break!

SueFlay Thu 08-Sep-11 15:31:18

The child could have been distracted from a flailing tantrum by the green monster and the parents (and entire population of cafe) might have been silently dying with gratitude for the wee green fella.

usualsuspect Thu 08-Sep-11 15:32:07

Get over yourself

MorrisZapp Thu 08-Sep-11 15:32:11

You were shocked to see an adult in a coffee shop letting their kid amuse themself?

Blimey, you don't get out much do you?

YABU. They were both having an enjoyable time, we can't 'interact' with our kids all the time. I;m sure the moppet will survive the trauma.

KAZAMM Thu 08-Sep-11 15:32:14

who are you to judge anyway? You're a stranger who saw a little bit of that families life and you could have cried for her? I'd spare your tears.

Thumbwitch Thu 08-Sep-11 15:33:33

Weeelllll - you might be a bit on the high-waisted judgeypants side here but I think I would probably have joined you! (except for the crying, that's OTT).

We went to the zoo a while back and for once, the echidnas were out! (Australia, but it's still quite rare). There was another family at the enclosure, but one boy aged about 10 was glued to his NDS and refusing to engage with the whole zoo experience - his grandma eventually whipped his DS away (no meltdown, so probably no SN) and told him to look at the animals. I was a bit hmm that they hadn't got him to leave it in the car for the day but hey, it's their choice.

MorrisZapp Thu 08-Sep-11 15:33:43

Totally agree re the book analogy. If the kid was happily immersed in a book I can't imagine any negative reaction to that.

ShirleyKnotFrotGrot Thu 08-Sep-11 15:34:20

When I have little people come to my house they always have a play on my i-pad because they like it, especially that Jelly Doodle game with the jelly and the toppings and the whipped cream and the pump and the straw and wheeeee!

Meanwhile the parents of the children get a break for a little while and get to have wine.

I could cry for us all.

HandMini Thu 08-Sep-11 15:34:22

You're being OTT. The same thoughts would have gone through my mind, then I would have thought of the many times I've already stuck the TV on to distract DD for 10 minutes and she's only 14 weeks!! When you see a short snapshot of someone else's life like that, how can it possibly be rational to form such a passionate judgement as wanting to cry for the child?

PottyRefusnik Thu 08-Sep-11 15:34:30

I'd take off the judgey pants tbh.

I'd be judgey of a parent I saw often and I knew their 3 year old was constantly on a computer like that, but not of a stranger in a coffee shop. Its a one off seeing them, you have no idea what was going on, whether it was a one off or not. You can't tell whether it was a treat she'd earned through good behaviour (5 stars = DVD or similar) or whether the parents had been working split shifts for the last month and just wanted to have a conversation without being interrupted.

Of course, maybe the girl spends every waking moment in front of the notebook thing, which would be very sad, but you don't know.

Save your judgey pants for something worthy of them, you don't want to wear them out!

scuzy Thu 08-Sep-11 15:34:56

ah here have heard it all now you could have cried??? ffs! get over it. were you on your own? perhaps your coffee guest will be on here next complaining how shocked she was that her mate spent their coffee break staring at a kid playing happily on her computer and ignoring her.

Voidka Thu 08-Sep-11 15:39:07

Imagine the other way around

'AIBU to be annoyed at the woman in the coffee shop who let her DD run amok because she was really bored?'

MadamDeathstare Thu 08-Sep-11 15:44:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badgercub Thu 08-Sep-11 15:48:20


When I was a child I watched television and played computer games all the time.

I ALSO read lots of books, played with toys, ran around the garden and spent my evenings having dinner and chatting with my family.

Just because a child is "staring at a screen" some of the time, while the parents are having some time off by the sounds of it, doesn't mean they spend their whole day/week doing that.

You are completely overreacting and being quite ridiculous.

bluebellewood Thu 08-Sep-11 15:51:34

I think looking at a book with her parents would have been better. Even watching the screen with her parents and chatting together about the programme would have been good.

What I don't understand is why that child had to be excluded from normal every day interaction.

I am no Mary Poppins but I managed to drink coffee in cafes, talk to my DP and include my DC. They often took little toys and books out with them but I never insisted that they gave their attention to them 100% whilst I ignored them.

I thought the victorian ideal of children should be seen and not heard was now defunct, but perhaps I am wrong.

Tightens judgeypants a few notches.

And who the heck was that revolting, green, girating, googly eyed character anyway. Bring back Andy Pandy!

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