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To want to decide if/when my children are introduced to iPad/tablet?

(133 Posts)
Bejeena Thu 02-Feb-17 10:05:49

Title says it all really.

My children are 3.5 and almost 1

I am fully aware that screen time for them is inevitable but I personally think that my oldest is not ready. He has more than enough to keep him entertained and learn from his toys. I do also let him watch TV in moderation.

However grandparents seem insistent that he would benefit from games/apps etc on the ipad. I personally think he has too much going on already. I know it is going to be an issue next time they (in-laws) come over and I feel like they want to overrule my decision. They keep showing my husband apps they use with other grandchildren to try and get him to agree and allow it. On the whole my husband is with me on the no tablets but isn't that against him having a go on grandparents one. I am, I feel it is our decision when we start him on things like this. Of course husband's family all think I am being mean and trying to be controlling.

For what is worth no they don't provide us with any childcare apart from odd night for us to go out whilst they are in bed (say once or twice a year).

Is my wish that unreasonable?

early30smum Thu 02-Feb-17 10:11:02

Is he starting school in September? He will probably depending on school, be allowed to use 'educational' games on an iPad or desktop computer as part of the curriculum when he goes.

You're his parents- you are perfectly entitled to choose if/when he uses an iPad! However if he's not seeing his grandparents often, maybe it could be a thing he only does there? I.e he can use apps on granny's iPad but your one 'doesn't have' apps? (He's young enough not to twig this). My in laws can be a little like this. I've picked my battles. We never ever have coco pops at home, they have it for breakfast at inlaws because I can't be bothered to have the arguement and it's a treat for them. Maybe the iPad thing could be the same for yours?

lozzylizzy Thu 02-Feb-17 10:11:59

Does it really matter once or twice. If you don't want them to use one at home, don't let them have access to one - simple! Nothing really to debate.

Its like when grandparents give them sweets and chocolate. It doesn't really matter if its the odd occasion. There is always the word NO when you get home.

MyDSMakeMeGreyButTheyreFab Thu 02-Feb-17 10:14:24

Yeah-iPads in pre school and reception here.

There are lots of great apps available.

For twenty minutes a time I wouldn't be concerned. Two hours at a time I'd have a problem with

Bejeena Thu 02-Feb-17 10:17:13

No we are not in UK system so he won't be going to school in September.

peeinthepotty Thu 02-Feb-17 10:17:20

You sound a bit precious hmm

As other PP have pointed out, your dc will be using them at school. It's not the end of the world for them to get 10 min on an ipad

Trifleorbust Thu 02-Feb-17 10:18:19

Just keep saying no. Precious/unreasonable etc - irrelevant. They are your children. You get to decide.

StewieGMum Thu 02-Feb-17 10:19:25

Your child will get to play on iPads at school and there are some incredible educational games on line, but its perfectly reasonable to say this isn't something you want your children to do at home. Just be firm with 'no thank you granny. How about we do Lego/ colouring/ playdoh/ board games instead'.

Tootsiepops Thu 02-Feb-17 10:20:04

Personally I think little ones should be exposed to tablets and technology as soon as possible. They are now part of the school environment and this generation will be using them for life. Giving them limited and supervised access now will mean increased familiarity when they start using them in an educational setting. To me, it's as important as learning how to use a pencil.

eurochick Thu 02-Feb-17 10:20:18

Being able to use tech is an essential life skill in 2017. Starting with toddler apps seems like a sensible introduction. I don't see the sense in not allowing it, personally (although moderating use so they do a variety of things is best imo). I have a 2.5 year old who uses toddler apps and is allowed to watch cartoons on YouTube at certain times.

Camomila Thu 02-Feb-17 10:20:25

No, I don't at all. There are pros and cons of screen time, and it's up to you as his parents to decide if the pros outweigh the cons.

I have an almost 10 month old and the only screen time he has is if we video chat relatives that we can't see in person very often. I never put the tv on in the day but sometimes it's on at the weekend if DH wants to watch sport or the Sunday afternoon movie and DS plays with it in the background but doesn't really watch it.

Would your relatives listen to you if you pointed out the 'dangers' of screen time, from reputable sources. Off the top of my head I can think of the AAP saying no screen time until 18 months bar video chatting (video chatting is different because the person on the other side of the screen responds to you), and then max 1 hour for pre-schoolers always supervised by an adult.

Re: your older child, I personally (used to work as an early years professional) am concerned that some children may find learning to write (fine motor skills, using a pencil) particularly frustrating if they are used to the instant results of pressing an iPad screen.

I'm not sure when we'll start letting DS have screen time but it'll probably be around pre-school age and very limited. I'm the same as you, I think there's no need for a 3 year old to have his own tablet, even DH and I share! If when he's 2 or 3 he wants to play a numbers game for 10 mins or something then fine but I don't really want him doing more than that.

Trifleorbust Thu 02-Feb-17 10:25:11

Would your relatives listen to you if you pointed out the 'dangers' of screen time, from reputable sources.

To be honest I would avoid doing this. This will make them think everything is up for a debate.

Hannahbanana1725 Thu 02-Feb-17 10:25:30

I don't really think it's a big deal if your DC starts using an ipad. There are so many educational apps/games that can be played in moderation that will really further your childs knowledge.

I think perhaps a few times a week at most is reasonable for 10/15mins, or after doing some light chores as a reward.

Camomila Thu 02-Feb-17 10:28:27

That's a fair point trifle, I find it useful with my PILs though as if I start any sentence with 'the NHS website says', they will take it as gospel grin
FIL and I don't really get on, but he's a nurse so he can't very well argue with the NHS on babycare!

Trifleorbust Thu 02-Feb-17 10:28:29

I don't really understand why the benefits of iPads are the focus of comments here. Does it matter if they are a good or bad thing, if the OP and her DH are in agreement that they don't want their kids using them yet?

Tootsiepops Thu 02-Feb-17 10:29:02

Would your relatives listen to you if you pointed out the 'dangers' of screen time, from reputable sources.

Isn't is passive screen time that's the issue rather than all screen time? So interactive toddler apps are fine, but an hour of Eastenders, probably not so much grin

peggyundercrackers Thu 02-Feb-17 10:29:12

I don't think its a big issue if its only occasionally and limited to small amounts of time. they are just 'toys' the same as any other toys.

Astoria7974 Thu 02-Feb-17 10:29:58

What does your school system have to say about it? The school systems that I'm aware of (UK, India, China) all encourage early exposure to as much technology as possible. Several top performing private Indian/Chinese kindergartens and nurseries even use technology skills as a selection criteria.

Trifleorbust Thu 02-Feb-17 10:30:36

Camomila: Also a fair point, but since I will cheerfully make decisions that the NHS might not support (I have no problem with screen time in moderation) I won't use an external view to validate my decisions. Worst case scenario, you tell them what's happening and they come back at you with, "The NHS says..." And I would have to offend them by explaining I gave not a single shit grin

PunjanaTea Thu 02-Feb-17 10:32:21

Well there are many different types of screen time and lots of different apps. My children use ones that help them learn words and one that teaches them the principles of coding. They also love taking photos and making videos. The word one is particularly useful for my 5 year old as he can do it on his own and not get as flustered about learning words as he does when he has someone watching over him. They do lots of other things away from the screen.

In my view the iPad is just another tool for learning.

Disastronaut Thu 02-Feb-17 10:36:26

It's perfectly reasonable not to want a 3.5 year old to use a tablet. Yes, they'll get it at school it he's not going yet. It's not about being mean, there are plenty of families that do this.

Derlei Thu 02-Feb-17 10:41:31

Camomila not being goady, just curious, but do you genuinely not put the tv on at all, all day?

I'm currently sat here watching a bit of MTV while DS (8 months) is playing with his toys. Yes every once in a while he glances at the tv, but he doesn't stare it for ages. I see it as him getting used to noises around the house and less likely to see it as a novelty when he actually gets to watch some tv

NoSherryForMe Thu 02-Feb-17 10:43:32

My DD is nearly 3 and she first encountered an iPad on a long-haul flight when she was just over 2. Although it was a bit of a godsend on the plane and while we were away in a very non-child-friendly place, I do rue the day we introduced it as she's become completely obsessed and asks for it constantly when we're at home.
All children are different, obvs, and yours might not become so fixated, but I'd say if your children are perfectly happy playing with toys, don't rush to change things.

Natsku Thu 02-Feb-17 10:44:14

What does your school system have to say about it? The school systems that I'm aware of (UK, India, China) all encourage early exposure to as much technology as possible

Maybe one that doesn't encourage early exposure. I'm in Finland and there are no tablets or computers in DD's nursery (where she will be until she's 6.5). They are used in comprehensive school but it seems to be more because its cheaper to use digital textbooks than paper ones and not all schools have gone down that route.

Natsku Thu 02-Feb-17 10:45:01

OP its perfectly reasonable to say you don't want your children to use tablets/iPads yet if that's what you and their dad want.

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