As the title suggests, this post is to get your opinion after I say what I think on the matter, even though I don’t have any kids of my own.
One day, at work, my colleague mentioned that her 2-year-old broke his iPad mini. He threw it off the balcony of their second floor apartment and it broke. In my mind I’m like, ‘Err… what did you expect a toddler to do with a gadget, pet it?’ lol.
On a serious note though, the matter became a topic for discussion as the ladies in my office gave reasons as to why this act may or may not be a good idea. Below are some arguments for the issue;
- Children these days are very smart and know how to use gadgets, even more than some adults.
- I use it to keep my son occupied.
- A mother said she lets her kids use it every now and then as an educational tool and for doing assignments which require research (cool (y) )
The arguments against;
- Children have a limited time to play… play is a part of healthy development and gadgets rob the kid of that.
- It’s an extravagance especially that a child isn’t expected to handle gadgets with care. They are kids, they will break stuff.
- It could affect their interpersonal and social skills.
- It’s a recipe for eye problems in the future.
These are just a few pros and cons, but because I’m me, I decided to read what others (professionals and laymen) had to say about this.
According to a post on Life Hack,
Research psychologist Dr. Larry Rosen suggested giving children time with you: playing video games with them, talking to them about using technology in healthy ways, encouraging breaks from usage of devices, and family time. The togetherness aspect will increase parental interaction. All these little things will give a parent more control and understanding of where their children’s interests lie in technology and which gadgets should be altered or removed, revisited or revised.
That being said and with the need for computer literacy and proficiency, we can all agree that using gadgets is not such a bad thing, but should a 2 year-old be given such a device all to himself?
I argued that the mere fact that the child knows it is his poses a problem. There’s a difference when a child wants its mother’s phone as opposed to when he wants his phone which his mother took. If we all agree that using gadgets should be a supervised activity or ‘playtime’ then why not restrain the urge to get such an expensive ‘toy’ for the child and let him use yours when necessary?
Free make gave us this shocking fact, that in 2014, the Association of Teachers in Britain reported that a rising number of toddlers lack the motor skills needed to play with building blocks though they can easily “swipe a screen”. The reason is an “addiction” to tablets and smartphones. They also had Susie Johnson‘s take on the issue of kids and gadgets (she’s a mother of 7 kids and blogger at Not-Your-Average-Mom)
My kids don’t own their own phones yet. But my eight and nine year olds have Kindles. My high schooler is given an iPad from school to use during the school year. The younger kids have access to them at school but don’t own their own.
I don’t think you can totally keep tech gadgets away from kids, and I don’t think you should. Most of their standardized testing in school is now taken on the computer. They need to know how to use technology responsibly. I don’t think it’s unhealthy as long as it’s monitored and as long as limits are set.
On limiting gadgets use;
We have a “no technology during the week” rule, so my children use gadgets only on the weekends. I think they probably spend about 2 hours a day on the weekends with tech gadgets, in winter more than in summer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics believe there should be a limit for kids and adolescents on ‘screen time’ per day.
I’d say the table speaks for itself, but some would say it is only the opinion of humans too and this brings us back to the question posed at the beginning, Will you buy your 2-year-old an ipad?