Tech for Tots! What Is The Right Age for iPads/iPhones?
We live in an age of technology, and your kids will see you checking Facebook on your phone, Googling recipes and chatting with friends in the car via Bluetooth. So it’s no wonder your toddler is now interested in these weird handsets that offer so much interaction. Question is: does it cause any damage and is it bad for them?
There is a strong argument to suggest that kids now need to be tech-savvy – the world they will grow up in is full of technology – they might be passengers in automated cars – they might never hoover the house. So teaching tech from an early age is a useful and important lesson so they aren’t left behind at a later stage.
However, staring into an iPad for hours on end isn’t exactly the right thing either.
Experts have argued that it is never too early to start kids with computers, whilst child psychologists have claimed it can be dangerous – lets look at the pros and cons:
TECH SAVVY KIDS: Because the world is becoming more technology controlled, having your child savvy with tech can be seen as a massive advantage.
OVERBLOWN RISKS: The risks are nothing according to the “Children’s Software Review” who say risks of repetitive stress are actually on par with playing a musical instrument or sport.
CREATIVE: Computer games are more creative and interactive than a television, and offer stimulation and challenges – something a TV show doesn’t.
LEARNING: There are some great interactive games for learning colours, numbers and shapes available – this can help toddlers learn as they entertain themselves.
MUM’S BEST FRIEND: Lets not forget the fact that occupying your kids for a few moments while you sort some jobs is a god send!
ONE DIMENSIONAL: Kids need to learn by touching and feeling, computers don’t give them that 3D experience of the world around them.
PHYSICAL & MENTAL ISSUES: Problems such as eyestrain, repetitive strain, obesity and social isolation are linked to overuse of computers and devices.
PRESSURE: We as parents naturally push kids/toddlers to grow up fast, we want them to succeed and learn – but does technology mean they miss out on fun stuff like looking at worms in the garden or picking flowers?
In summary, it’s important as a parent to consider everything in moderation. Allowing your toddler to spend hours and hours glued to the TV is as bad as an iPad – however as long as they aren’t spending too long or getting badly behaved when you take it off them there is little evidence to say it’s bad.
- Don’t use the computer as a babysitter
- Don’t have a computer in your kids room
- Have fun – make sure using the iPad/PC is a fun experience
- Limit use to no more than an hour a day
- Restrict content – i.e be very careful what they access
Have you any experience you can share with other mums? Comment below: