Kids and technology

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Could only find a pic of the girl with the ipad

My son loves the iPad. He would honestly play on it all day. When he was younger (he’s now 4 and a half) he would play lots of educational games. However, recently its Angry Birds. He’s OBSESSED with the grumpy little flying things! That and the Bad Piggies. I can kind of understand. I got addicted to the Sims on my laptop while I was off sick last week. And while I have now stopped playing Hay Day (on my iPhone) so much now, I was nipping to the loo to quickly play it a bit a while back (it was very quiet at work). So I do understand but I also understand that I am the adult here. I made the decision that I needed to study in the evenings and go for a walk instead of just sitting playing Sims and that I’m now too busy at work to be playing Hay Day other than in the evenings (although to be honest I’ve kind of lost the impetus now – I feel like my “real life” goals are more important than a silly game). But he is a child and is not going to make the sensible decision for himself. That’s my job. I hate that sometimes. I wish I could just let them get on with it. But I have to be the adult. Its been going on for a few weeks – he comes home and grabs the tablet or iPad or iPhone and starts playing. His sister also likes to play things too but probably not as much as he does. And then its really hard to get him off it when its time for bed. We did go through a phase where he was having it in the morning too (so we could have another 15 minutes peace and quiet in bed) but then he was so difficult when we tried to get him away from it to get ready for nursery that we decided that we had to put our feet down and not allow him the devices in the morning. That slipped and my husband (I blame him but I shouldn’t really as I stayed in bed and let him get on with it) let them have devices in the morning again, so we have decided that we need to crack down again on that. This morning (the first time since I’d really decided that it had become a problem and we needed to do something about it), we only let him have it AFTER he’d got ready. This actually worked quite well as he got ready quickly and then went downstairs to play with the iPad while his sister got ready with Daddy.

iPads and Nexuses and the like are fabulous things – particularly on aeroplanes so they can watch a movie or play games (we need to get them some headphones for our holiday) but it does worry me when all he wants to do is play Angry Birds. At the moment, my plan is the following rules:

  • No iPad in the morning until you’ve done your “morning things” (brushed teeth, washed face, been to loo and got dressed)
  • No ipad when going out to social events (hubby allowed him to bring it to my mum & dad’s house on Mothers Day & he just wanted to play on it, barely spoke to anyone)
  • Weekends – I’m not sure what rule to have here. Don’t know if I should limit to a certain time a day. Or if we should just try to do things as a family that are out and about (especially now its summer) so that he is not sat at home all day (with nothing to do apart from play on the ipad).

What are your opinions on small children and technology?

4 Thoughts on “Kids and technology

  1. Personally I’m quite anti. We only let our oldest use the laptop sat at the desk in the study. She’s only allowed onto the cbeebies website so we know she’s doing something constructive and educational and definitely only at the weekend and for an absolute maximum of one hour a day. I think its the same with anything at that age, tv, sweeties, they just seem to get obsessed. At the moment she’s really into colouring in, but I try to limit that a little too or she’d do it all day. I think this stems from the fact that personally I dislike computer games and find them pointless (my other half disagrees) I just think she should be doing something better with her time. I know that other people really love them though and I don’t want her to feel left out of something that all her friends do. It’s a toughie!!

    Kate
    Just Pirouette and Carry On…

    • I know where you are coming from but we are all rather techy in our family and I feel like a hypocrite if I don’t allow them some access, but I think ALL of us need some boundaries.

  2. Em @ snowingindoors on May 10, 2013 at 16:26 said:

    We let our daughter use the iPad when my son naps if I have work to do, if its nice though we go out in the garden. I think it’s important for her to learn about tech and her favourite apps are phonics and maths ones so I can’t really complain!!

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