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To postpone these Christmas presents

(18 Posts)
FoxPass Sat 20-Dec-14 14:57:45

My DH wants to give our 2 sons hudl tablets for Christmas. Our youngest DS who turns 4 next month has a speech delay. He has support for it and we are following all the instructions to help him develop his expressive language and he gets support at nursery too. His comprehension is fine but his behaviour is still very babyish. We have the option to delay school for him until August 2016 as he will be so young in August 2015, so the next 8 months are crucial to help him catch up to his peers.

I am really concerned about him as I feel he is babyish because of the speech delay, and also we have been fairly relaxed with TV and games as he wants to do what his older (6 yo) brother is doing, but recently I feel like technology is a massive distraction for him, and he is totally sucked into that instead of playing and interacting with us, which is surely the best way to bring him on.

DH does not want them to miss out on getting the tablets for Christmas, and I don't want them to either but they are getting other gifts and I think they are both still so young, there is no hurry for so much technology. I just feel that if my youngest DS gets one, it will be even harder to get him to focus on interacting and playing games with us and it is going to stop him making progress.

I spend the most time with him and his behaviour is exhausting. He still has awful tantrums, and I feel like if I can help him with his language and social skills through things like role play and turn taking games with me after nursery, I can improve his behaviour and help him get ready for school. Just now, he plays for a bit and then wants the TV on or to play computer games.

DH thinks we can give them and restrict their use to 2 hours maximum a day, but I don't think this will work.

I want to restrict technology as much as possible until he makes progress. AIBU to say let's keep the tablets for now and give them later next year? I don't know if I am overreacting but I just want to do everything I can to help my youngest DS sad

windchime Sat 20-Dec-14 15:02:01

If you give a tablet to a four year old, what on earth do you give them when they are fourteen? A house?

RJnomore Sat 20-Dec-14 15:14:35

Oh that's not helpful at all windchime.

Lots of four year olds have tablets and they are not a bad thing in themselves. In fact as parents we have a responsibility to ensure our children know how to use technology responsibly and to their advantage.

Howeve, I hear your specific concern op. Can you set parental controls so that they can only be used between say 4-6pm per day? I don't know hurls that well but you can on some tabs or with some programmes.

You don't mention how you feel your six year old would react to the gift either? You can give one and keep the other one until you feel it's right you know?

EatShitDerek Sat 20-Dec-14 15:17:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sirzy Sat 20-Dec-14 15:18:34

I don't know much about hdls but can you not ensure that you only have apps available to support his development?

ClaimedByMe Sat 20-Dec-14 15:21:28

Can you put apps on it that are aimed at children with speech delay? Also if his behaviour is exhausting it maybe a good way to have a wee break, my dc have kindles with time restriction options I dont know if the hudl has similar.

FoxPass Sat 20-Dec-14 15:22:28

Thanks for your response RJ. Yes we could limit the use to a set time each day and will put age appropriate games and controls on it. My concern is that just now, youngest DS just whines to play or watch instead of wanting to engage with us in stuff like role playing games, board games, pairs, Lego etc, and the novelty of a tablet would be another huge distraction.

My 6 yo would love a tablet but he does already have access to DH's xbox for minecraft and a nintendo DS (which is mainly kept hidden as youngest would play it all day if he could). I think if we gave oldest DS a tablet and not youngest, it would cause huge arguments!

Sn00p4d Sat 20-Dec-14 15:23:04

I teach children with complex additional support needs, so I'd imagine a fair bit more severe than your ds, in my experience they don't hinder the child at all in terms of development, if anything they help. You just need to be very careful how you manage it. They have set times for accessing the tablet for example, restrict it, limit it, do whatever works for you're family, you are the adult make it work, the tablet goes away at x time and is not accessible to the children. As soon as they realise they will get it back it the removal doesn't tend to cause any issues. You can also get loads of apps geared towards development in whatever areas your ds is struggling,some communication apps are excellent.
Granted if you stick him in a room with unlimited access to a tablet it's not ideal, just about balance like everything else.

FoxPass Sat 20-Dec-14 15:25:57

I never even thought of apps to support his speech development smile I am not opposed to him having wee shots of technology for breaks, just before bath time etc but the problem is youngest DS just wants to do it all the time.

Sirzy Sat 20-Dec-14 15:28:23

I think if he wants it all the time then it is probably going to be better for him to be exposed to technology and learning that it's something to be used in moderation alongside other things rather than 'hiding' him from it which will probably make it more desirable.

FoxPass Sat 20-Dec-14 15:47:28

Yes it seems like actually controlling it is key, not withholding. Thanks all this is helpful smile

SistersOfPercy Sat 20-Dec-14 15:49:26

Meanwhile, in the 21st century windchime parents and teachers use tablets as educational tools.

kennyp Sat 20-Dec-14 15:52:00

my son also had speech delay - have you been recommened a book called "it takes two to talk" -written by a dutch person i think. i was going to get an ipad app thingy called i can articulate - the full download is £27 so i haven't got it yet but to be honest i don't know if it would have helped.

i work with a couple of children with expressive language delay. i am absolutely not an expert but i wouldn't think particularly that a screen thingy (hudl, ipad, etc) would particularly support speech and language although i could obviously be wrong. message me if you want. (my son is 9 now and had shedloads of salt when he was younger).

Littleturkish Sat 20-Dec-14 15:53:20

Could you load it with board game apps and then as part of his use he has to play them with you? Things like guess who etc?

Also, there is a lovely story telling pairs one- that would be fantastic to help him work on his speech.

I'm not a fan of tablets for kids, but if he engages with tech, I would see it as a tool for TWO people to help him work on his language, rather than something for solo activities.

DancingDonkey Sat 20-Dec-14 15:57:09

My DS doesn't have his own tablet but he does have access to ours.

It's important to be disciplined with it and restrict the amount of time they get to use them. However there are some really good games and apps out there which are useful for their education.

I think it's like anything really, to get the maximum benefit for your child you really need to interact with them while their using it. It's a bit like a book, your child can enjoy looking at a book on his/her own (assuming he/she can't read yet) and get something from looking at the pictures and words. However they will get far more out of it if you read it with them.

ClashCityRocker Sat 20-Dec-14 16:00:00

I believe there are lots of apps you can use together - which will encourage interaction, turn taking etc. You can 'play' together on the hudl and it's just as valid as other play, just might engage him a bit more.

I think it could be a really positive tool if you can restrict the screen time.

pludolphTheRedNosedReindeer Sat 20-Dec-14 16:02:20

I think the main problem is that when he says "we" could restrict it, that means you!

QTPie Sat 20-Dec-14 16:03:51

DS has access to an iPad (DH's old one, wiped and specifically set up for him), but it is when we say so (up to an hour normally twice a week during school weeks, although a little more during school holidays and it is used during long flights and when everything else is exhausted during long meals at nice restaurants). It occasionally asks for it more often, but gets a firm "no". It is a treat.

Having access to an iPad is not a problem, but limiting access and having form boundaries are important (call me evil, but a tantrum would never be rewarded and DS knows this so doesn't).

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