There are times when a mum needs 15 minutes to start on dinner/get dressed/flake out on the sofa (delete as appropriate). When you have a toddler, gone are the days of getting anything done without also having to entertain at all times. Cue my trusted iPad. Or iPad Mini to be precise.
I have read of warnings against letting Little Ones use electronic devices such as smart phones and tablets too much, like this article here in the Huffington Post, but I personally have no problem in letting my girl have a little play every now and then. Especially if it saves my sanity. For example, there’s not much chance of me changing her nappy without whipping out the old iPhone for her to watch videos of herself (such vanity!), or look at photos of our latest trip to the zoo. I hardly think she is going to become obese and suffer from child depression and psychosis. Not from using the iPad anyway.
Now of course I am not advocating sticking your child in front of the TV or iPad all day. I for one do not have a child who would be willing to sit still for this long. Of course if anyone used the iPad an excessive amount I can see how they might become dependent on it. I am the first to admit I am addicted to my iPhone, and seriously need to start curbing my use, especially in the evenings! And for young children, excessive use of a tablet or iPad could certainly be detrimental to their learning ability… IF that is all they are doing.
My toddler is most definitely playing in sand in getting it all over the garden. She is most definitely climbing and jumping and sliding at the play-gym, or spinning and twirling at ballet. And she is most definitely asking me to read her endless amounts of books and sing Sleeping Bunnies about a hundred odd times a day. She is most definitely NOT addicted to the iPad, and I don’t think it is having a negative impact on her learning or behaviour. Of course I am no psychologist, and only time will tell, but I have to say I have only ever been impressed with her use of it. She has certainly learnt to do things on it that my husband and I did not know how to do, and she is not even 2! She has quickly picked up on how to use it, and knows how to access her favourite apps and games without any help. Only yesterday did she amaze us both whilst playing a Thomas the Tank Engine memory game. She had matched up all the cards far quicker than I could have done.
I think in this day and age we are going to have to accept that our children are going to be using far more advanced technology than we were ever exposed to as kids. It is just part of life. And like most things in life, as long as it is used in moderation, I can only say good things about Audrey using the iPad or iPhone. I can’t be the only one who has needed 5 more minutes shopping in town and resorted to the CBeebies App (it is fantastic, and free!).
Unfortunately this is the first generation of youngsters growing up with these items being commonplace in their households, so we have probably got a long way to go before truly finding out any long-term effects.
In the mean time, offering me 10 minutes here and there of peace and quiet, the iPad mini is most definitely my friend.
Do you let your little ones use your technology? Do they even have their own toddler tablets? I would be interested to hear what you think.
Here are a few of my girls favourite apps:
CBeebies – can’t go wrong with plenty of games on here to keep them interested.
Peppa’s Paintbox – let’s them show their artistic flair.
Thomas and Friends: Engine Activity Fun – a few fun free games, with more to be unlocked (and paid for).