Won't somebody think of the children?

The Macalope finally feels that he’s dug himself out from under the avalanche of post-WWDC dumb enough to devote some time to something else. There are other, more important things in life than software development conferences, you know.

Like how iOS-based devices are the root of all evil and are corrupting our children even as we speak.

Yes, our fine friends at Australia’s The Age (disclaimer: not actually friends) are back with another opinion piece on how Apple is ruining everything.

Amanda Sheehan tells us about “Upsetting the Apple cart: iPod touches a nerve with children” (tip o’ the antlers to Andrew Cherry).

Alternate title: If a parent takes an iPod away from their children in a forest and doesn’t write an article about it, have they really even taken it away at all?

I have hidden my children’s iPod.

Ah, what a clever game! Surely the children will love this.

For good.

Oh. No, they’re not going to like this at all.

Last weekend, I snatched it away from them and hid it in the back of our linen closet.

KIDS. THIS IS THE MACALOPE. IT’S IN THE BACK OF THE LINEN CLOSET.

[The Macalope is then a hero to Sheehan’s kids for ever and ever.]

Also, any expert will tell you that 90 percent of good parenting is snatching.

My reasons for taking such drastic steps were simple: I wanted my children back.

Look, Amanda, everyone knows that if you want your children back you call Liam Neeson. That’s just what you do.

The iPod had held them hostage since last Christmas.

Well, you shouldn’t have let them install Kidnapping: The App.

They were addicted from day one.

Meaning they enjoyed it. How horrible for them to enjoy a gift you got them.

“It was nothing like that Surface we got them! They hate that thing! We let them keep it. They never touch it!”

Now, at this point, I can almost hear some readers scoffing and admonishing my obvious lack of parental ability …

Ah, good. You heard that all the way from Australia, then. Hopefully that will save us some time.

… judging me for not being able to set and enforce simple guidelines for the use of this gadget (seriously, do you even have children?)

As a matter of fact, yes, the Macalope does. And can it be a trial pulling them away from a device? Sure. Much like getting them to brush their teeth, or do their homework, or not ride the dog around the house because he’s not a pony! Unless your house is going to be filled with nothing but wooden toys hand-crafted by the Amish, you need to set and enforce limits with computers, gaming consoles, the television, and probably the thermostat and the digital meat thermometer. (IT HAS A SCREEN! GIVE IT TO ME!) The Macalope knows a couple who has to restrict their child’s reading time, because all the child will do is sit quietly in a chair and read all day. That is not a joke, by the way. Did they take all the child’s books away and hide them in the linen closet? No. That would be ridiculous.

Unless you want your kids to grow up completely ignorant of technology, the Macalope doesn’t see how this cold turkey policy is such great parenting.

… once they held that wretched device in their hands, they simply refused to let go.

Are your children giants or lycanthropes or something? Are they sucker-handed aliens from beyond the moon? Just take it.

Wait, if you couldn’t get it away from them, how did you “snatch it away from them” to hide it in the closet where the Macalope told them it is and to which they’re probably running to get it right now?

DON’T WAIT FOR THE TRANSLATION TO AUSTRALIAN! ANSWER THE QUESTION!

No amount of threats, bribery or reasoning would coerce them into surrendering it.

No amount? Really? Because iPods are such addictive devices that they turn your otherwise lovely children into feral beasts? The Macalope finds it hard to believe—if they’re that defiant—that the iPod is the root of all your problems. But maybe it’s just a bridge too far for you. That’s OK. Parenting can be hard. At least recognize that it’s because of your particular set of circumstances and not because there are evil mind-control rays emanating from the iPod.

After half an hour of playing on it, I found they were so riled up and engaged in their game that they found it almost impossible to disengage and go back to reality.

And don’t get me started on their monotonous incantations of “HAIL, SATAN!” and ritualistic goat sacrifices to the device!

Hey, how you parent your kids is up to you. Take it away, don’t get them one, whatever. But, guess what: We don’t live in the 1800s anymore. Technology is literally everywhere on this planet, and a rounded approach to it is probably better than trying to deny it exists.

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