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To not want ds to get an ipad

(36 Posts)
99problems Mon 22-Apr-13 14:41:00

He's going to be 5 in June, so many friends have got their children Ipads and are telling me they are really educational and I'm being silly by not considering getting one for ds. I just hate the hold online games have over him when I let him go on my laptop to play educational games.

Ds has some minor special needs and my friend was telling me yesterday Ipad apps would be really beneficial to help him to write - he has no interest whatsoever in sitting down with pen/paper and doing it so I can imagine it could help, but still I don't feel comfortable with the idea. AIBU?

Wishwehadgoneabroad Mon 22-Apr-13 14:43:35


Yes, Technology is important, and they'll be someone along in a minute telling you how important it is for kids to be able to use computers etc.

BUT he's FIVE. He should be learning how to listen, communicate, socialise, play.

Really annoys me how many parents give their kids expensive gadgets. What kids need is time. And the ability to entertain themselves through imaginative play!

Moominsarehippos Mon 22-Apr-13 14:45:29

I'd give it a life expectancy of 20 minutes in the hands of a five year old. He's a bit young for it. They may have educational games, but there's also a lot of dross available, and they don't have much that you can't get from a book or website.

It's a very expensive toy for a little person, not for a big person though.

Ragwort Mon 22-Apr-13 14:46:38

Wow, you must live in a totally different world to me, I don't know any one who would buy their five year old an ipad shock - in fact I rarely know anyone who has an ipad, whatever their age (apart from my 80 year old mother who bought one and has hardly taken it out of the box yet grin).

I must live a very sheltered life.

OhLori Mon 22-Apr-13 14:46:45

You friends sound a bit thick and rude tbh.

Squitten Mon 22-Apr-13 14:49:37

We have one iPad in the house that is for everyone. My 4yr old and 2yr old both have time on it if I need to keep them entertained while I'm elsewhere (no TV here). Same as you - try to keep it educational and absolutely limit it. They are hideously addictive things.

I know lots of people who were giving their kids a DS for their third birthday so I think it's quite common now. I wouldn't do it in your situation - you have a laptop and he'll learn to write at school! You know, like everyone has done for the hundreds of thousands of years before iPads were invented...

99problems Mon 22-Apr-13 14:53:31

Yes it's how addictive it seems that scarees me the most, ds came home from school with a password for website full of educational games for kids and I let him have 20mins a day but he goes crazy when I tell him to come off.

TippiShagpile Mon 22-Apr-13 14:54:15

Good grief, he's way too young.

I've just bought myself an iPad and I am 44! And I saved up for it for what felt like ages. [embarrassed]

My children are slightly older than yours and there's no way they'll get their own iPads, iPods, whatever for a very very long time. They have a whole lifetime of technology ahead of them.

If he has no interest in sitting down and writing then having an iPad certainly won't cure that.

99problems Mon 22-Apr-13 14:56:38

TippiShagpile good point an ipad would porbably make him even less inclined to sit down with pen and paper! My friend was saying to me that nowadays it's important for them to be good at technology etc. But I feel better that the general consensus so far is that he is too young.

fedupwithdeployment Mon 22-Apr-13 14:58:27

There is more to life than iPads. I would absolutely not buy one for my boys (6 and 8), although they are allowed to play games on mine on occasions (mainly holidays and weekends). Technology is important, but learning to play with others and amuse yourself (imaginative games) and read are higher up my list. Educational is all very well, but playing Angry Birds and Temple Run is more the reality!!

If you are going to be there to help him learn to write, he could use yours if you've got one. Frankly though, I'd be going the traditional route - but take advice from the SEN teachers.

mummymeister Mon 22-Apr-13 15:00:44

my teenagers aren't allowed an ipad because I am worried about them getting broken and them just spending too much time on them. just do not agree with giving children that are only just out of babyhood this type of device. I think it is more about one-upmanship amongst peer groups and friends rather than actually needing one. so once he has this where do you go from here in terms of expensive presents.

thistlelicker Mon 22-Apr-13 15:02:29

Why don't u compromise and perhaps consider the vtech items which are age appropriate and education at fraction of cost?

CMP69 Mon 22-Apr-13 15:11:17

We have a Nexus tablet and have decided not to put any kids stuff on it. DS will be 5 in July and has an Innotab which he loves so we want him to carry on with it. He can have technology when he is older
DH is an IT consultant so we are not anti technology at all

mrsjay Mon 22-Apr-13 15:13:18

he is 5 they are all 5 shock no I wouldnt have a little child with an ipad people will tell you they are educational blah blah i wouldnt spend that amount of money ofn a 5 yr old that they could drop break or lose interest in, and YY to the vtech

hazeyjane Mon 22-Apr-13 15:17:50

I think your friend is being a bit off saying you are silly for not getting one.

However you mention that your ds has sn, and there are a lot of things on the iPad that are fantastic for children with sn. Ds has an iPad, he is only 2.9, there are loads of apps that help with fine motor skills, and he is meeting a SALT on Thurs who specialises in apps for non verbal children. Obviously it all depends on the individual child's needs, but in some cases they really are a great tool.

99problems Mon 22-Apr-13 15:22:12

hazeyjane would you mind pming me what the SALT says? Ds has been re-referred to SALT but services here offer minimal intervention, he has SAL difficulties so would be really interested in what she says!

BlingLoving Mon 22-Apr-13 15:25:18

Personally, I wouldn't buy DS his own ipad at that age, but why not buy one for the family? DS is 2 and he uses my ipad all the time. It's great. He mostly plays music on it which is adorable as he hits the replay button over and over again on his favourite nursery rhymes but he does play other games that are engaging him in a way that DH and I don't. And he learns vocab etc. It's not really all that different to books - he has various story type apps which are entertaining for him but also are teaching him vocab and the sounds animals make and about colours and musical instruments etc.

However, broadly, MN is very anti-technology for children and most people seem to think that those of us who allow our kids to play with the ipad or iphone are withdrawing from all other parenting options. Like everything, it's about monitoring and moderation. As a child, my parents wanted me to read less because they thought I didn't socialise enough. If DS started wanting to be on the ipad all the time, I'd have an issue. But a few minutes here and there works for all of us.

Plomino Mon 22-Apr-13 15:27:10

I wouldn't buy one exclusively for a 5 yr old , even though my 5 yr old uses mine ( mainly for mine craft and angry birds ) I would buy one for the family though( and did )

mrsjay Mon 22-Apr-13 15:29:44

I think a family Ipad would be a better idea then everybody can get the use of it ,

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Mon 22-Apr-13 15:41:39

I love our ipad for our 4yo. She has some great educational apps, it's like a constantly regenerating activity magazine. Saying that, the idea that all children must have one is bizarre.

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 15:43:46

Not UR at all.

They come under the heading "optional"

I have four four years plds arriving soon, and I will be using it (attached to my telly some of the time) with them doing some of the poking for oir activities. I love mine, think it's great, use it masses with my kid and other people's children.

Biu it's not the holy grail. It's just the advantage (to me personally, cos I always lose or need to adapt paper based stuff) of having the tactile propeties of paper and the editable properites of a 'Puter all in one lump.

Other people will have other preferences, and it is perfectly reasonable that they pick what they like better.

mrsjay Mon 22-Apr-13 15:45:06

DD bought herself an ipad last week so far she has let me look at it--from 3 feet away-- I am dying for a go on it

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 22-Apr-13 15:47:04

It will not help him learn to write with a pencil - you don't write with one finger after all!

An alternative which uses a stylus might help, also traditional techniques like a stick in sand might be more appealing to him.

They can be helpful for children with some kinds of disabilities though, so I would consult with his drs/specialists/charity that deals with his condition.

CarpeVinum Mon 22-Apr-13 15:47:53


Smart kid. grin

The one I'm on is my son's. I appear to have adopted it as my own. blush

I want one that nobody can snatch off me going "It's not yours though, is it ?" just when I am mumsnetting preparing a sooper dooper lesson all happily.

mrspaddy Mon 22-Apr-13 15:49:36

Hi I am a teacher of children with SEN. I really see the benefit of IPAD's as a supportive tool but I am not a huge fan. I use them daily in class - they do have value but I think they are not essential at all. I would not buy a five year old one. Infact, the best things for five year olds are plenty of gross and fine motor activities, which I think you are more comfortable with yourself. Lots of speech work - muscle development, self esteem development. IPAD's can't do the work a teacher/parent can. Best of luck to you and your child.

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