“I did not communicate with my children in any way”

Photo: Getty Images

Her kids were so obsessed with their iPads that Roseanne barely interacted with them. So I made a strict decision.

Roseanne (37), mother of Nantes (8) and Finn (7):

“I was against it anyway, when the iPads arrived. I thought the kids were still small…my husband Vincent brought them home before we went on vacation to the south of France three years ago. It seemed handy for such a long journey. It was Nantes and Vin, At about the age of five and four, ecstatic.

Nantes quickly grasped the matter fairly well, and Fien was less skilled at it. I broke the glass plate into a thousand pieces in a month. I paid an amount like 50€ for the repair and bought a cover for 40€. In theory, this should allow her to run over an iPad with a truck. Three months later another crack appeared in the screen. I left it that way at least the thing was still working.

To download

There was a constant disturbance in the house regarding charging. When this was forgotten, the atmosphere turned bleak. Then Nant wanted to use Fien’s iPad or vice versa and there was a fight. If I put my other iPad on the charger somewhere out of reach, they turn against me together. They could watch movies together, and they would scream. Then I threw a container of Playmobil on the floor and encouraged them to play with it. It is not finished again. Yes – by me; I finally managed to put everything back in the trash. After all, you’ve thrown it.

Away, aloof, alone

Our marriage was in tatters for a while at the time. That winter we decided to separate. And although this was done with good consultation, the emotional burden was great. I cried a little alone in my new home. The iPad became a godsend for the moments when I couldn’t take the kids with me, I’m pretty honest about that. I didn’t have the energy for a good outside discussion.

When I saw my kids sitting next to each other on the couch, both wearing headphones, completely absorbed in the screen in front of them, I felt guilty. But if I don’t let her go, they whine and my bucket overflows and I scream or worse, cry. It’s better to sit on your iPad for a long time, right?

The straight line of their screens

Nant and Fien are becoming increasingly dependent on the iPad. They didn’t go to bed until they were 100 percent sure that both devices were on the charger. They walked straight to their screens in the morning. And when they went to Vincent, that damn iPad was the first thing they put in the bag, until Vincent bought them two of his own – problem solved.

“They didn’t sleep until they were 100% sure that both devices were on the charger”

An iPad in every home; That’s when I realized our kids were really spoiled at this point. They took the thing to the toilet as standard, never came out and bothered my ear about things like Robux, which is virtual money with which you can buy things in a game. That virtual money costs real money. A friend’s kid remembered his password and stole 100 Euros from Robux this way. I immediately changed my password. This could happen to me too.

Read also – My son hacked my account: “Spend at least 1350 euros”>


Two months ago I got rid of my iPads after losing contact with my kids for the thousandth time. I always felt like I was talking to a wall. I could have screamed hundreds of times that food was on the table. I’ve often heard them swear and scream when they play games and I’ve been regularly watching them watch silly videos, which if you ask me aren’t made for kids’ eyes, but are on TikTok.

“I always felt like I was talking to the wall”

I’ve let my tendons loosen up a lot in recent years. Where my sister had very clear agreements on apps and screen time (and I’ve always thought this was overrated), everything was allowed with me. Every now and then I would use my iPad as a threat: “If you don’t brush your teeth now, you’re going to lose your iPad all day tomorrow.” But I’m mainly a verbal threat and the kids know that all too well. I am a mother with a rubber backbone.

With no possibility to move

It started to annoy me more and more because I hardly talked to my kids and that we had a closet full of unused toys. It was crucial weekends in a tent, in a farmer’s yard. It was a luxury camping site, so camping with pigeons; I paid for it. There was a lot for the kids to do on the farm. They were allowed to help the farms, there were plenty of play areas, the kids were suffocating and the weather was nice.

Nantes and Finn were hanging from the bed in the tent with their iPads. I couldn’t move them until I took off the screens. The switch flipped on my face. I walked up to the farmer with the appliances and asked him explicitly if he wanted to keep them until we left. Nantes and Fen looked at me with wide eyes, but did not dare to protest under the watchful eye of the somewhat imposing cultivator.

Step by Step

Of course they did it in the tent. I was the most terrible mother ever, they screamed so loud that the rest of the camp heard. I ignored them and just pointed out all the kids who go karting outside. Half an hour later, the sound subsided. I grabbed a book and lay on the hammock. The neighbor in the next tent gave me an encouraging wink.

“I was the most terrible mother ever, they screamed so loud that the rest of the camp heard”

It became clear to the children after an hour that this time I would stand firm. Then they thought it would be for a few days. I liked it so much that I continued it at home. iPads are out. Sometimes, I still couldn’t do it for the kids because they kept coming back to it. They don’t know they’re in the attic. They think I sold the iPads. They still have screens at Vincent’s, and they’re not lacking anything in that regard.

without screen

For me, personal contact is of paramount importance again. We bake cookies together, something they’ve never felt before. I have a container full of craft supplies on the counter; We color something with the three of us. They play outside every day and on weekends we go to the forest, to the playground or watch a children’s movie together. They talk to each other again. We have the best conversations and that’s what I always remember.

In the future, this will be done according to strict rules. No more TikTok. at most an hour a day

I’m really not going to keep this thing going forever and eventually get this stuff out of the attic again. But then things go according to strict rules. No more TikTok. At most an hour a day. I lost my iPad for a week in a fight – this works. In that regard, my sister didn’t look that bad.”

This article appears on Kek Mama 10-2022.

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