Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Evolution of Kid's Waiting Rooms

Kids today don't know how good they have it.

Since I was a kid (which, admittedly, was a long, long time ago) there have been a lot of advancements to make life easier for kids. One of those advancements is the creation of kid waiting rooms.

When I was a kid, if your parents went to get the car fixed there was nothing to entertain the kids. There were four uncomfortable chairs and possibly some magazines, but they were all Better Homes & Gardens, or Good Housekeeping, or Popular Mechanics. If you were really lucky, there might be a Reader's Digest.

Dentist offices and doctor offices were better, but not by much. How much better were they? They were exactly one old Highlights magazine better. (Can you find the tea kettle hidden in the picture?) (Because I never could.)

Amazingly, they still make Highlights magazine and books!  You can get them  at Amazon.

Every dentist and doctor office had a Highlights magazine. Some of them even had two or three. And each one of them was entertaining---for about five minutes. And then it was back to Good Housekeeping. Or whining: "Mom, how much longer? We've been here forever!"

Kids today have it so much better. My kids want to go with me to get the oil changed in the mini-van.  Why? Because there's a waiting room especially for kids! It's got a big screen television on the wall showing one of their favorite movies. (Because, apparently, Frozen is just as good the 823rd time as it was the first time.)

More fun than Better Homes & Gardens!
But it's not just the television. There are fancy floor-mat villages and toys of every kind. The waiting room is much more fun than home could ever be! Given the choice between playing with all the new toys we got them for Christmas, or going to the car dealership's kid waiting room and playing with the beat-up toys that have been slobbered on by forty or fifty different kids each day, they would choose the waiting room toys every single time.

Well, except for that one toy:

Every waiting room has one!
There is a wire and bead toy in every modern waiting room. And it never gets played with for more than two minutes by any kid. It's today's version of the Highlights magazine.

But even if, by some chance, your kids aren't distracted enough by the television or the toys, there's always entertainment to be had from smart phones, iPads, tablets, and other electronic devices.

Kids today have so many choices of things to watch or do while waiting that there's no need for them to ever say, "I'm bored" again. (But they still will. Because some things will never change.)

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