Have you thought about giving your iPad to your kids? With its colorful screen, fun sounds, and touch screen it has everything to captivate little children. More and more parents are handing over their iPad to their children at a younger age. Many toy companies have caught onto the trend and are looking to capitalize on it. Fisher Price actually has developed an entire line of toys that work with the iPad called Apptivity. They have protective cases that are designed to keep sticky fingers and drool off the screen. But do parents really want to spend so much of money on an expensive device for kids? While some parents like the idea of introducing technology to children at an early age, some parents find the idea completely ridiculous.
The truth is that we don’t know the effects of the iPad on our children because it is a fairly recent product. The iPads have only been on the market since 2010. We didn’t have the iPad around when we were kids.
Recently, ABC Nightline developed a research study to test the effects of the iPad on our kids. In the study, ABC watched how the children play with the iPad. While the kids were playing with the iPad, researchers called out their names. Most kids were lost in their own little world and failed to respond the cues. It was only until after the iPads were removed that they began to respond to social cues and their environment.
In recent years, parents have begun to use their iPads to keep children quiet and distracted. Parents have found that they don’t have to worry about a screaming child if they are distracted by the iPad. Researchers are now saying that this activity may cause children not to develop the correct social skills later in life. ABC concluded that children will be less likely to calm themselves on their own.
We have seen various studies that show that most learning doesn’t take place when children are under 2. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents keep their children away from tablets when they are under 2.
It’s all about balance. Don’t make the iPad a central part of your child’s life. There are ton of educational apps designed to help our children learn everything from counting to letters to basic bath. However, there might actually better ways to learn the same thing. While children may love painting with their fingers on the iPad screen, there is nothing wrong with breaking out real crayons and paper every once and awhile. Interactive books are great, but reading a real book stimulates creativity in a way that an interactive book would never be able to.
We have got so many Apple devices lying around our house. The truth is we live in a different world. Children are growing up with these devices all around them. It’s all about moderation. This argument has always been there. When we were kids, I’m sure parents argued about whether the Nintendo was appropriate for children.
We let the kids use the Apple devices to learn but enforce strict limits. Parents should not use the device as substitute for parenting. Also, it’s up to parents to set an example for our kids. Everywhere you go nowadays, people have their faces buried on the screens of these devices. It sends the wrong message to kids.
We live in a world that has become dominated by technology. Sure we can give our children the iPad but there are lot better things you can do to help them develop. We also need our children to develop socially so that they can make friends, get jobs, and engage in society. You should never hand your iPad to your kids and just let them play with it the whole day. With proper limits, parents may be able to get the best of both worlds.
Do you let your little one play with the iPad?
About the author:
Melissa loves writing about issues related to parenting. At the end of the year, she publishes her list of the top toys. You can find more by reading this article: Top Toys For Christmas 2013 : The Best & Hottest Toys . In it she breaks down all the top toys by category.