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Which is the lesser screen evil: computer, tablet, or TV?

(40 Posts)
MmmIceCream Tue 22-Apr-14 01:42:18

Just that, really. I have been giving this some thought recently as my DS (2.5) is allowed about an hour of screen time a day, and was wondering which of the above was better. Of course I know that all are less than ideal etc etc (an idea which while it may be true is just going to make me feel more guilty, not reduce his screen time as I will never get anything done otherwise!) but was wondering which, in your opinion, is the lesser evil?

Or AIBU to even wonder this, as they're all the same?

Rummikub Tue 22-Apr-14 01:46:50

In my mind tv is the lesser screen evil.

Cbeebies is fab for little ones.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 22-Apr-14 02:04:13

Tablet (or a computer) with appropriate apps. TV is mainly mindless, tablets can be more interactive. But honestly I don't think it will make much difference. An hour a day of either is fine.

caruthers Tue 22-Apr-14 02:32:35 is here and now and are as relevant as books.

Considering the age of your DS I can see why you limit the time doing any one thing which is practical.

If I have to choose I would say TV although at the rate technology is going children of today will be so immersed in technology this question surely wont be asked in the near future.

SpringBreaker Tue 22-Apr-14 02:35:34

Surely it depends on what is actually ON the screen..

WhenIGrowUpIWantToBeAPenguin Tue 22-Apr-14 02:48:31

Interesting article:
Children benefit from the right sort of screen time - 26 Mar 2014 - New Scientist

FindoGask Tue 22-Apr-14 05:40:54

I think that anything that requires some sort of interaction is better: telly you just zonk out in front of, but you have to think to play games: strategic planning, decision making, or even the simplest point and click requires motor skills and co-ordination. That said, our iPad is like crack cocaine to our two daughters (7 and 3) and anything that induces such a compulsive reaction worries me, so we give them limited time on it in the same way that I limit my own internet time. I agree with caruthers though, technology is the way of the world now and there's no point in fighting it, better to try to adopt a moderate approach.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 22-Apr-14 06:21:07

The tablet is fantastic. DD uses it and writes, colours, read, maths and plays educational games.

With the TV it don't take much imagination. Plus I hate it that on some tv programmes like ITNG the characters don't speak properly.

crestfall Tue 22-Apr-14 07:25:28

Can anyone recommend any apps for a 2.5 yr old to use on a tablet?

adoptmama Tue 22-Apr-14 07:31:37

Tablet as it provides an interactive experience and, with carefully chosen apps, allows even young children like your DS to engage in independent learning and story telling.

Computer is no good for children at this age as they cannot operate a keyboard/mouse independently (another reason why tablets are good for young kids as they are touch sensitive and intuitive).

TV is completely passive - even tv shows which try to encourage the child to participate by dancing or answering questions are passive learning experiences. However there is nothing wrong with that and TV shows like the (ever irritating) Mr. Tumble are still very nice for children.

adoptmama Tue 22-Apr-14 07:35:59

What kid of apps are you looking for crestfall and is it for iPad or Android? (Can't help you on Android as I rarely use it - definitely an iPad advocate here).

There are loads for story telling, colours, basic number learning etc. Many will assess your child's level and then increase the challenge as they improve.

Story cubes is a great one to do together. Disney do a lot of good games and books. Ladybird books and Dorling Kindersley both do nice libraries you can add to.

Oxford Reading Tree - of Biff, Chip etc - have also finally begun to releave ebooks of the schools' ORT schemes.

tumbletumble Tue 22-Apr-14 07:37:15

Depends on the time of day. As others have said, iPad or computer is more interactive while TV is more passive. So if it's close to bedtime I'd prefer them to be watching TV.

Retropear Tue 22-Apr-14 07:39:05

Sorry for a 2.5 year old less is more and as few screens as poss is preferable.

2 year olds should be handling real books,toys,play dough and running around.There is no need for apps or an abundance of screen time.

Poor quality,unnecessary screen time is the same in any format imvho.

evertonmint Tue 22-Apr-14 07:50:36

I find my DCs (6 and 3) largely zone out in front of the tv but interact more when using a tablet - tell me what is happening in their game etc.

We are pretty careful about what apps we use - try to have educational type things, although that doesn't mean they are just numbers and words! A big favourite of both from age 2 (6yo still plays now) is called Ice Cream Shop or Ice Cream Scoop (can't remember exactly!). They are given a picture of an ice cream and have to create it by typing on the right cone, ice cream and topping in the right order. They win extra toppings, which makes the fame more complicated. Great for pattern recognition etc.

I have no issue with screen time provided the bulk of their time is away from it - so don't even worry about passive tv watching. Conversations with both prove they do take information in even when seemingly comatose in front if the tv (they know so much about the ocean from Octonauts for example). I only have CBeebies or DVDs as I do not want them exposed to advertising and I don't have the tv on in the background for me or them, don't even have music or radio unless they specifically want it. So they are only getting screen time at a very specific time.

Retropear Tue 22-Apr-14 07:57:47

But Everton most 6 and 3 year olds are waaaay past that as regards pattern recognition.

Personally I think following and continuing patterns with beads or Lego would be better and better for helping with dexterityfine motor skills in readiness for writing.

crestfall Tue 22-Apr-14 07:58:06

I have android, adoptmama. I was just curious as I didn't know there were apps my 2 year old could use.

Driveway Tue 22-Apr-14 08:00:24

I don't think any are evil.
Cbeebies has some great stuff and there are fantastic apps too.

Lottapianos Tue 22-Apr-14 08:00:47

What Retro pear said. A 2.5 year old is not learning anything useful from any type of screen. They need time with people, playing, singing, running about and using books together.

odyssey2001 Tue 22-Apr-14 08:01:09

In defence of TV, we have a 3 year old and we watch telly with him and he is constantly chatting, which has been great for his language development, and well as his observational and comprehension skills. We are watching Timmy Time in bed right now and he hasn't shut up for the last 10 minutes! Also, ITNG at become a calm-down tool as part of the bedtime routine.

It is all about balance in the day/week, not being strictly regimental about it or vilifying one specific medium. They are what you make of it.

Retropear Tue 22-Apr-14 08:01:22

There is a shed load of utterly pointless, time wasting crap apps too.

MmmIceCream Tue 22-Apr-14 08:05:35

I do agree that all things should be in moderation, and thanks for some of those tips re apps as well, and the interesting link posted above.

I'm not sure I agree that screens are as relevant as books though, as DS learns so much more from books than he has from watching anything. But, I have been accused of being old fashioned in the past ...

Lagoonablue Tue 22-Apr-14 08:07:26

It's the time they are on it that is the issue. Not the technology itself.

Retropear Tue 22-Apr-14 08:15:13

And what they're doing.

Oodles of time wasting passive packages that don't encourage kids to think for themselves are little better than crappy TV imvho.

Retropear Tue 22-Apr-14 08:15:55

I'd rather my dc was reading a book.

FindoGask Tue 22-Apr-14 08:22:30

There was a time once when people were deeply suspicious of the printed word - why bother to learn or remember anything when you can find it in a book?

I recently read this excellent article by the wonderful Douglas Adams - still very

particularly this bit:

"I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this:

1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really."

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