There’s this funny story doing the rounds—about a young couple raising their two kids in modern-day urban India. When their first came along, they had higher ideals about the good and proper way to raise a child, in which the idiot box had no part. By the time the second emerged, they had significantly more grey hairs and were much more receptive to various well-known child-rearing tools, such as cartoons as feeding aid, to name one. “And if we ever have a third,” they said, “we’ll just hand it an iPad the moment it pops out and let it bring itself up.”
It’s not that I have any first-hand experience, but I don’t really need to be convinced about the efficacy of the iPad as a parenting tool. I’ve been watching the Nephew turn to it with unerring regularity, and have often silently complimented Apple for developing an interface that even toddlers can master.
And not just N, his parents too have been known to rely on the iPad when all else fails. The other week, while I was visiting, N had a nuclear meltdown one morning. And I mean a MELTdown. Wow. I was too scared to come out of my room. A couple of hours later, when things had calmed down, I ventured to ask the sibling what did the trick. She raised her eyes to the heavens (perhaps in silent supplication to Mr Jobs) and said, “iPad.”
I think the case is well and truly rested.