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iPad / Tech / ICT @home: Boon or bane at 4+?

(7 Posts)
FunnyBear Mon 13-Feb-17 09:05:02

Please would you help articulate family home ICT guidelines - to define & administer a healthy (?) dose of iPad / Mac for a child nearing 4.
For example, iPad at the dining table, Curiosity to use our Mac, Using a smartphone.

irvineoneohone Mon 13-Feb-17 11:26:47

I am not 100 % sure what you are asking, but we don't limit use of them time wise.
Only rule we have is that my ds needs our permission to use laptop or Ipad.
Ipad does belong to him, since he won it himself from competition, but still, he is not allowed to take it into his room. He needs to use it downstairs.
Use of computer(including video games console) only had good effects on him so far. And he has been using it since 3/4 years old.

FunnyBear Mon 13-Feb-17 13:35:21

Thanks @irvineoneohone May I please rewrite my orig post here,
My child (nearing 4 this summer) takes to iPads & smartphones easily (enters unlock pwd, selects app, plays, stares at display) - typically Youtube, Google Maps, Whatsapp, Skype, Hangout, Gallery, Camera for eg, & the interest lasts 60-90mins tops if unhindered by an adult. Her school uses YouTube & Paint. We have denied her any use of our home Mac / Dell laptops until now. We don't watch any TV in her presence. I am wary of the longer term effects of ICT at home.
How do you determine when to encourage (discourage) device usage for your child - is there a rationale?

Caroian Mon 13-Feb-17 13:56:41

I don't allow my child on I things like WhatsApp, Skypevpr Hangout. We make family Skyoevor FaceTime calls (with distant family) but there is no need for a small child to use those independently.

Staring at YouTube is much like staring at the TV. However YouTube is full of... how shall we say... rubbish! My son is allowed to watch YouTube videos but I sensor what of. Some things are educational (he watches a lot of things about space and trains) others are well made and structured stories, usually revolving around trains.

The main use is for apps aimed at children though. We use a number of maths ones. We have the Brio trains app which allows him to build virtual Brio worlds when he can't play with the real thing (on planes, in waiting rooms). There are hundreds of apps for kids. Not all are any good and the best usually cost money. But they are much better than mindless staring at things which mean nothing to them - like WhatsApp - or even too much YouTube.

Tech devices are never allowed at the table in our house. We don't have strict timings, but iPad use does to a degree need tone "earned" - so generalgoid behaviour, completing all things asked of him first. And he is not allowed to use without asking - he is not allowed to know any pass codes.

We use the computer together to look things up and to learn how it works e.g the mouse, trackpad, typing.

I broadly think computer time should be shared as young children are likely to get more out of it this way. We spend time on Google Earth, for example.

Screens aren't inherently "bad". How they are used is important. You need to decide what is right for your family and child.

BarFlyInThePeanuts Mon 13-Feb-17 14:06:02

I agree it is how they are used. We use a lot of educational apps, and the school logins for maths and English sites. But my general rule is you need tot be a creator, not just a consumer. So they will create things like new skins, PowerPoint presentations on their current obsession, mind maps, timelines, cartooons, coding, etc and they need to spend equal-ish time creating and consuming.

noramum Mon 13-Feb-17 14:11:53

DD is 9 and we use ipads for 4-5 years now. She has her own one with she got with a huge list of restrictions which we adapt depending on age and usage.

Nothing is allowed at the table, that includes parent's smartphones unless we operate our sound system with it. That also includes going out.

She is not allowed to have her ipad overnight in her room, she can take it upstairs during the day for a year or so now, we check browsing history every now and then. She doesn't have fixed times but knows that it will be restricted if she doesn't do her allocated tasks like violin practice, school work etc beforehand.

For YouTube we had strict rules, she was first only allowed it with us in the room, then only if DH or I vetted the clip and she could store it in Favourites. Now she is allowed to use it more frequently but obviously understands more about the 95% of rubbish YouTube is made off.

Mac - she uses it for BBC iplayer and homework but only downstairs where it lives anyway.

IT can be a huge source of information, she used it for homework and discovered facts which we never heard off. There are also lots of good apps and websites teaching spelling, maths, good games teaching concentration and reaction skills. And there is the huge amount of rubbish so it is your job to teach your child.

The same with applications for Whatsapp etc, a young child has no need. We use Skype with grandparents or if DH or I are away on business trips. She uses emails to communicate with her grandparents.

ThermoScan Tue 14-Feb-17 11:59:02

DS3 is nearly 4; my household rules have been created learning from past mistakes with the older 2(5&7).Although technology is important and widely used,iPad overuse led to bad behaviour and restricting it made a difference.My youngest was really good at creative play but when became old enough to swipe screens the cars /toys were neglected in favour of screen so trying to restore that back.We were iPad-less for a while and my middle one grew up without really having access.He didn't seem to miss it and of the 3 is still the least interested.DS1 and DS3 love it and if not restricted would both spend hours on iPads.
In our house ; never at the table ,also applies to phones & TV and toys.At 3 they should be able to sit through a meal,no need for screens IMO,although I appreciate having by 3 of them there is always entertainment from brothers.
Games /just watching YouTube clips/cartoons on iPad at weekends only: 2 hours max for 7 year old,younger 2 get less time.
Educational apps are allowed in the week with supervision;my 3year old likes Pirate Phonics,Maths age 3-5&4-6 (free on App Store) and also loves Blocks/Tetri.
Older boys use mathletics & Reading Eggs from school,3 year old likes doing this but needs a bit of help.
Parental settings are on at all times on all devices : have been caught out when they weren't blush.

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