Before children, we all have these views on parenting and how we plan to raise our offspring. When kids get here, however, we find that things are a bit different than we planned. For me, technology and my children is one of them.
I can remember a time that I didn’t think I’d allow my kids to watch TV, play with a tablet, or have access to my laptop. It didn’t seem necessary. However, four years later, I am singing a much different tune!
After reading the Yahoo Parenting article, Tech or No Tech, I wanted to share my personal thoughts on the topic. It’s a highly debated subjects, and I know that some parents are judged by buying their child an iPad at 6 or letting their preschooler watch TV.
However, for my family, technology is a must. It makes our lives easier, and it’s the way the world is heading. I’d much rather my two boys be tech savvy than clueless as we all begin to rely heavier and heavier on technological advances.
Why We Say Technology and Kids Can Mix
Here’s 4 reasons why we are letting our boys use technology:
1. It’s fun and a change from other activities.
My oldest gets plenty of time outdoors, playing with his toy cars, and at the table doing crafts. Technology is just another way for him to have fun. It offers him entertainment on a rainy day or while I need to be inside for whatever reason.
2. It’s educational.
Sawyer and I have been doing home preschool lessons since he turned 4 in September, and technology helps foster his learning and curiosity. Under my watchful eye, he watches YouTube videos, plays with apps on his LeapPad, and go through Starfall activities to increase his letter recognition.
3. It’s something they need to learn.
With so many things done online these days, Sawyer and Dawson will both need to learn how to use a computer. Sawyer gets to play on our laptop for about 20 minutes, when he asks. It’s not every day, but the exposure he is getting is helping him learn things like typing, controlling a mouse, and how to navigate from page to page.
4. It helps them build skills.
Lots of skills can be supported with technology. Eye-hand coordination is one that is fostered when kids play games that require them to move their finger across a screen in order to trace a letter or shape, or move a car along a path. Attention and listening skills also benefit from tech apps and games.
It’s All About Moderation
Though we give Sawyer (and plan to give Dawson) access to technology, it is certainly not done without our guidance. He is limited to specific apps I download on my iPad, his LeapPad 2, and 2 websites on the computer. When he’s playing with tech, I am close by to keep an eye on what he’s doing. Also, we limit the time he plays with any tech device so that it is in moderation.
Technology is okay, as long as there is moderation – and parental guidance! Parents must be aware of the amount of technology that their children is exposed to, so that it doesn’t replace getting outside and being active or playing with other toys that foster imagination and problem solving in ways tech gadgets cannot.
Do you allow your kids to play with tech gadgets? Why or why not?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.