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Thoughts on the ‘IPad generation’

(196 Posts)
Cash02 Thu 21-Jan-21 21:09:18

Are you ever in a restaurant or the supermarket and you see children completely engrossed into their screens, their sticky, food encrusted screens? (exaggerating)

What are your thoughts? If you have any?
My little girl is 7 months, I’ve no clue on what parenting a toddler is like and I won’t pretend I do.
However people for thousands of years raised children without IPads, what’s changed?
I don’t plan on giving my daughter an IPad as I’ve been reading about the negative affects, but I was just wondering what the general consensus is?
There’s the infamous story, where young children were given books and they tried to swipe the pages like a smart device.
It seems sad to me, but at the same time, every new technology has its critics.
But Is the impact on social and creative skills really deniable?
(I would like to state I’m not talking about families who have a shared iPad that everyone uses on occasion, I’m talking about children who own their own and are on it seemingly constantly)

OP’s posts: |
ShirleyPhallus Thu 21-Jan-21 21:11:57

I think it’s really easy to judge people for scenarios you’re not yet in

I have a DD the same age as yours and think the same as you but also acknowledge that sometimes you do what you do just up make it through the day

Floralnomad Thu 21-Jan-21 21:13:22

I don’t have small children anymore , but just because you see them on screens in places like restaurants and supermarkets doesn’t mean they are on them all the time , it could well be that those are the only times they use them so that the parents can actually eat / do a shop in peace .

Cash02 Thu 21-Jan-21 21:14:30

Oh no for sure, I’m not really condemning anyone for using one, I’m just wondering what the general thoughts are on them, and whether people think the developmental impacts will matter when the child is older.

OP’s posts: |
Biscusting Thu 21-Jan-21 21:16:33

I don’t know any kids that have their own iPad and are using it constantly. Surely kids would get fed up eventually anyway.

I avoided too much screen time when my kids were toddlers, ironically they are 5&7 and are now on screens all day for home school and I’m frantically trying to get them to manage their own zoom meetings and know when and how to mute, how to find their work, upload it and send, as well as type properly. Maybe I should have let them play with gadgets more 🤷🏻‍♀️

daisyjgrey Thu 21-Jan-21 21:17:28

You're being ridiculous in that you are entirely capable of reading books with your child and teaching them to hold a pencil etc and all the other things they need to learn as they grow, but them having 20 minutes on an iPad so you can have a conversation in peace with your partner who you haven't spoken to properly for about a week and order some food is not the end of the world that will result in them not knowing you cannot swipe a book...

You're fighting a losing battle as tech progresses, embrace it but make it work for you and your child.

MistleTOEboughski Thu 21-Jan-21 21:17:49

Well these days no-one is going to restaurants they are doing their school work at home on their ipad. Perhaps it's screens that will help us get through lockdown and still educate our children and let them stay in touch with friends and family.

FreeButtonBee Thu 21-Jan-21 21:18:45

When all their teaching is on an iPad and their parents are stuck to screen for work all day long?

Cash02 Thu 21-Jan-21 21:19:19

Well the reason I was researching today is because my sister in law is very little, she’s 3.
She’s on her iPad, constantly.
My mother in law is an amazing mother, raised 8 children, one who grew up to be my partner.
However my sister in law got the IPad for her birthday last year (not from my mother in law) and I’ve never seen her off it since.
She doesn’t really interact with the other kids and gets really upset when she’s told to do something else.
I love her so much but you could talk to her and she won’t even know you’re there grin

I’m not talking about the children who are on it occasionally, maybe while they’re out or for whatever reason, and I’m not talking about children with learning disabilities.
I’m wondering about the kids who are seemingly addicted (not saying it’s the parents fault at all, my MIL is amazing as I said).

OP’s posts: |
daisyjgrey Thu 21-Jan-21 21:19:44

As @Biscusting says, children knowing how to use tech from the start makes for tech competent adults.

There was a thread recently that a woman in her early twenties had no grasp of how to use a computer bar Mumsnet and sending basic emails - not a sustainable position to be in.

tttigress Thu 21-Jan-21 21:21:04

This sounds like me on my phone if I get some time alone!!

Seriously, who knows, but people talked very negatively about the effects of TV in the 1950s-1990s.

I'm sure it will be ok for most kids, and what would you actually prefer your kid to be doing? Boxing, which was a perfectly normal kid hobby in the 1950s!!

flowerpotsandrain Thu 21-Jan-21 21:21:10

Have a look at some research papers and read around the subject. You'll come to your own decisions as the time comes and things naturally change over time.

Personally, even with DC with ASN, I didn't use phones or tablets before school age. We didn't do restaurants or things they couldn't cope with when it was unmanageable as I didn't want them as a coping mechanism. If it wasn't as a coping mechanism then I'd want to model and involve my DC in eating and chatting as a family in a restaurant so again I wouldn't want screens interfering. In shops they played with something out the trolley or something from home. We did a few particular TV shows but mostly all the normal reading, playing, art, dance, crafts, outdoor walks etc that you do with young children so there wasn't a need for screens.

firstimemamma Thu 21-Jan-21 21:24:25

Ds is nearly 2 and a half.

We use the iPad / iPhone for:
- The last ten mins or so of a meal (before this he is at the table with no screens and at least one parent talking / eating with him). He eats better this way and I use the time to wash up and can do it quicker this way.
- teeth brushing songs
- if we are having a rubbish day and I need ten mins!
- long car journeys but this is rare

We never use it out and about so he's never had a screen in front of him in a cafe or supermarket. We use out and about time to stimulate him e.g food shopping = learning the names of different fruit and veg at the green grocers. We generally try to limit screen time but it's hard with lockdown and he's an only child for now too.

There is no 'perfect parent' and different things work for different families. However as a former early years teacher I do believe if children spend hours and hours on screens it can obviously be bad for them - mentally and physically.

rowlandsden Thu 21-Jan-21 21:24:46

One of my husbands relative said to me at a family gathering once if I was going to be like those mothers who hand their phones and iPads to their kids when my DS was only 2 months. I said I won't know until I get to that stage, maybe I might need to just to have a coffee in peace for 15 mins. At the moment we have way too much screen time as we don't have anything else to do indoors no matter how many times we do painting, drawing and sticking pasta on card. Most parents I know who use iPads use it to distract their kids on flights so that they don't disturb other passengers, use it in restaurants again not to disturb customers as well as eat a meal in peace or during shopping so that they could get things done. Our life when we were younger wasn't as fast paced as it is now (pre covid). I don't judge and never have even before having my younger one. The iPads can also be very educational as well as distraction.

WhenAWrenVisits Thu 21-Jan-21 21:25:41

What developmental impacts? Most people don’t put toddlers on iPads very often. It’s hard to get kids to sit quietly and you don’t want to disturb other people in a restaurant. An iPad might be the only way they’ll get a child to sit through a celebration that’s important to the wider family.

I kept my eldest away from screens inc. tv for his first few years. My youngest was exposed straight away by older siblings. Ironically my youngest is quite happy to ignore a tv or iPad whereas my eldest can’t look away as soon as one is turned on and doesn’t even respond to his name. So I wouldn’t be too presumptuous that all exposure to screens in terrible.

00100001 Thu 21-Jan-21 21:26:37

There's no issue with kids using screens where appropriate.

For example, there's little difference between a kid doing a puzzle game in an iPad than doing the maze on the kids menu at a restaurant whilst waiting for dinner/others to finish. However,tif they're then gawking at the screen whilst eating, then it's an issue. Or all diners are on their screen, again an issue.

Kids can get addicted to them quickly of not controlled. And if the use them overtakes all the usual and diverse ways to spend time, then it's a big problem.

However, it would be holding the kids at a disadvantage if they had zero access to technology.

There's balance to be had.

MichelleofzeResistance Thu 21-Jan-21 21:28:01

Balance is key I think. Although I smiled reading your OP - my DM is in her 80s and can't leave her ipad alone for 2 minutes. She loves that thing.

AnnabelleMarx Thu 21-Jan-21 21:29:03

It doesn’t sound like you’re doing a lot of research......on whatever device you’re using....

Your posts are full of hyperbole and urban myths.

You also don’t sound very old. Were you already an adult when iPads came out?

Cash02 Thu 21-Jan-21 21:29:15

Thank you for your reply!
You bring up technology and kids and people go mad.
I’ll keep researching, however I’m leaning towards a no for my little one.
I’m sure I’ll let her watch some TV and play some games on the laptop.
I’m not sure if there’s even a difference, I’ll have to keep reading.
Maybe the fact that it’s portable and in their hands and that they can take it anywhere means it’s harder to take off them.

OP’s posts: |
1Morewineplease Thu 21-Jan-21 21:29:53

On my duty at the school gate, watching parents walk in , on their phones then watching the same parents walking out with their children, still on their phones... I can only conclude that sitting on a screen is the only way forward.

Norwayreally Thu 21-Jan-21 21:31:44

I read about a study conducted comparing toddlers who use iPads and toddlers who don’t and the iPad using toddlers had better fine motor skills...

It’s really easy to say you’ll never be that parent when your first born is a baby but honestly, you will resort to really weird tactics when they’re a toddler to keep them quiet and stop the tantrums (we all do!). I don’t sweat a bit of screen time, it doesn’t mean I never read to my children or that they don’t do anything else at all. There should be a balance as with anything in life, too much screen time is obviously bad.

BabyYodaYada Thu 21-Jan-21 21:32:52

I'm 40. We didn't have ipads when I was younger, obviously. But we did spend all day roaming the streets without our parents knowing where we were. And they had to put adverts on the telly to remind us not to run off with the local paedophile or kill ourselves by climbing up a pylon.

When your DC goes to school, they will be given an Ipad at school to work on.

It's the same as anything, if you parent it properly, then devices are nothing to be feared.

Countdowntonothing Thu 21-Jan-21 21:34:40

I disagree with children having their own ipad, but there's nothing wrong with using their parents ipad! (Or android tablet because angry apple)

Couldn't really care less when/where they use it as long as they get plenty of opportunities to play with toys/draw and colour/get outside etc. too.

GlowingOrb Thu 21-Jan-21 21:34:48

Oh, I used to be you op. Then I had a special needs child who could not eat in most restaurants. Sometimes, extremely rarely, we were selfish, fed her before hand, ordered her a drink or a dessert or whatever we could find on the menu that wouldn’t cause her to gag so loudly that everyone in the restaurant would stop and stare and let her have some screen time with headphones while we enjoyed a nice meal.

DuchessofHastings1 Thu 21-Jan-21 21:36:27

I wouldn't give my DS his tablet at first, then a little and now during lockdown a bit more.
Hes 3. There is only so much you can bake cakes with, wrestle, run around, read etc you need time to yourself and the tablets give you the odd 10/15 mins at a time.
I never used it that much with him before lockdown but with no soft plays, toddler groups, meet ups, each day drags.

And as far as shopping, trust me when your pushing your toddler through the shops who's like a caged animal in their pushchair, you'll want one grin

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