Oh my God. I love this idea:

Put a case/sticker on the phone/tablet that indicates the apps/content are exclusively educational, not time-wasters

Though the sticker I really want to have says, “my child’s iPad is the reason you aren’t having to listen to a tantrum right now.”

Except the thing is… Why am I accountable to random strangers for my parenting choices? Why are they glaring at me, anyhow?

For me, the great blessing of having huge trouble breastfeeding my kids was that getting all those glares for bottlefeeding in public made me realize how quick we are to judge without all the information. I had gone to extreme, heroic lengths to nurse my first child, but gave up when both of my in-laws were simultaneously dying of cancer and I was trying to sterilize feeding tubes in their kitchen so I could keep nursing with my very complicated supplementation system. (I know, TMI.)

Anyhow, I figured that every single person who ever glared at me for bottlefeeding would feel completely differently if I walked over, told my backstory, and explained the circumstances in which I had given up my valiant effort to nursing. But, of course, they didn’t. It made me realize how often I judge people without knowing their backstory, and so I have kind of developed the practice of making up back stories for people, for when their decisions baffle me, so that I can imagine a scenario in which I would understand what seems to me to be an unimaginable behaviour or situation.

And I feel like the sticker thing is basically doing that work for somebody: giving them the backstory that makes them OK with my choices. But the reality is, we just need to cut each other some slack, and keep our glares to ourselves.

Author, Remote Inc: How To Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are. Tech speaker. Writer & data journalist for Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review & more.

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