Dinner with friends and family at restaurants has included childhood distractions for decades. I remember getting crayons and coloring pages when we'd go to Sambo's or Bob's Big Boy, whether supplied by the restaurant or by my parents or grandparents. Usually both.
So, with iPods active, I made the definitive statement: "Yes, we unapologetically bring our devices everywhere we go."
Then I added: "Amy and I grew up with the TV on all the time, and our brains didn't melt."
Which is not entirely true, for us or for our children. The Mama and I are big readers, always have been, and this is one of many activities we encourage with Beatrice and Bryce. In fact, every week they go to the library and bring back a big bagful of new books to read, which we do every night before bed.
There are those child development experts who agree all things in moderation and integrated into everyday family life that includes talking with your children, doing arts and crafts projects together, reading together, writing together, drawing together, engaging in make believe together, or build forts (and even buy one once in a while), or watching a show or playing a game together. In fact, Bryce and I designed a unicorn video game together recently and then imagined we were actually playing it.
As I write this, the girls are watching Little Einsteins on Disney Junior learning about music and art. And then we'll watch some more, and then they'll play on the devices, and then we'll do some art projects together, and then we'll read some new books, and then...
We are the unapologetic parents who integrate it all into some semblance of family time, even when they want to draw daddy's foot when he's working.