I'm going to do a 'what's the world coming to' sort of blog because I've read recently that children as young as four are being treated for an addiction to I-Pads.

Apparently the therapist who is treating the four year old says that he 'admires the parents for stepping in so promptly in requesting help'

Don't shout at me...I managed to write all that with a reasonably straight face and without kicking anything.

So, lets take a deep breath and run through that again...the child is four years old. It spends so much time on it's I-Pad that it has become an obsession which needs to be treated by a therapist.

You'd love to know what I'd do under the same circumstances wouldn't you....bet it would be the same as you'd do...except we wouldn't have four year olds addicted to I-Pads would we...

My children's television viewing was heavily restricted when they were little...Blue Peter was grand and so were most of the cartoons...but if they were watching cartoons and the tea was ready, then they switched the television off. They often groaned mind you...they certainly weren't perfect...but they knew if they made a huge fuss then there would be no television at all the following evening. Simple. I set the rules and they followed them. They were small children and felt much happier and safer knowing Mummy was in charge and what Mummy said went.

But I've had visiting children plonk themselves down in front of our television and switch it on un- asked and unbidden...and the parents have smiled indulgently and say oh they do love C-Beebies...tough...they won't be watching C-Beebies here thankyou all the same.

Himself was chatting to a distant neighbour today who has a teenage daughter and the talk came round to texting and FaceBook and so on...and how some teenagers become so upset and hurt by comments posted on their FaceBook page or sent by texts to their 'phones. How difficult is it to simply delete your account...and not ever go back there ever again. To read a book or do the washing up or learn how to make a sponge cake or take the dog for a walk...because isn't the draw to go back time and again to see what some unpleasant comment is waiting for you simply another form of an addiction?

And children don't seem to have to wait for anything...my younger step daughter simply buys whatever her two daughters demand. Whether it is the latest shoes or a mobile 'phone with all the bells and whistles...there is no waiting for your next birthday or heaven forbid waiting until Christmas for the latest electronic gadget...you see a friend has one, so you say you want one...and on Saturday it is a trip to the shops to buy it even if it's only six weeks until the birthday. And of course by the time the birthday arrives it's another glossy gadget or a special kind of T-shirt...or whatever. And she is by no means the only parent to provide what is demanded by her children, on demand.

It is almost as though those parents are afraid their children won't love them if they say no...perhaps they don't know how to say no kindly and in a loving way...you don't have to shout or throw a tantrum yourself after all...simply say no, wait until your birthday, Christmas, when you're sixteen...whatever suits the request and the occasion. They might well sulk and slam doors and shout it isn't fair and play awful music loudly for a while...but if you stick to your principles and grit your teeth and pour a nice glass of wine...they'll get over it.

The child addicted to the I-Pad? Her parents have me totally befuddled...my friend Harry would say..Eee lass...those parents need a sharp kick up their backside...