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AIBU?

AIBU to let my 2 y/o watch so much iPad?

133 replies

MelroseGrainger · 16/07/2023 17:47

I’m expecting some flames…and I will listen to it. I know it’s not great. But I’m also curious if people have non-judgemental views about iPad use?

Our DD is nearly 2.5 and watches A LOT of iPad every day. Hours of it. It’s the go-to for her otherwise very present and engaging and loving and affectionate father.

But, here’s the thing…I think she’s actually pretty advanced in language and numeracy. She can name all but 3 or 4 letters of the alphabet (which we haven’t actively taught her). She knows how to count actual objects, up to about 5 or 6 (we’ve taught her this mostly. But it’s been reinforced by YouTube videos). She knows how to say three colours in Spanish (we’ve not taught her this)

She can also now independently type in the first two or three letters of something specific she’s looking for, and choose the correct auto-suggested word from the search list.

She gets lots of other activities and time outside, lots of mummy and daddy time and crafts etc. So we’re not awful parents. I don’t think!

But interested to hear if we’re still rotting her brain and social abilities, or if she’s getting the pay off from so much learning (and evident enjoyment)

runs and ducks for cover

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Am I being unreasonable?

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Freepo · 16/07/2023 17:48

It really is a mistake asking this on here, people are irrational and sanctimonious about it

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AnneLovesGilbert · 16/07/2023 17:51

In wanting non judgemental responses do you mean you only want to hear from people who also let their children use tablets?

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Wisterical · 16/07/2023 17:51

@Freepo oh come on, it's neither irrational nor sanctimonious to think a toddler should not have hours of screen time every day.

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Maireas · 16/07/2023 17:52

You know what the answer is going to be!

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GrazingSheep · 16/07/2023 17:53

How many hours? 2 or 7?

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Brk · 16/07/2023 17:56

Yes. Screentime (ipad and tv) does something weird to young children. If mine have more than an hr a day they become bad tempered, rude and over-emotional. All of my friends and relatives have noticed the same as their children. You won’t get information on that from google though, because google is swamped with sponsored ‘articles’ by the tech companies saying it’s all fine 🤦‍♀️ However the World Health Organisation recommends no more than an hour per day, and they do so for a reason.

I don’t know if it’s because of the constant fast-paced images going into their brain at a pace they can’t control, or if it’s merely because hours of screentime is hours of missed real world two-way social interaction, but either way; yes, it is damaging to give a lot of screentime to young children.

Sure your kid may learn the alphabet/numbers faster, but that isn’t important at this age, what you want is healthy brain growth and emotional development and hours of screentime is not going to give that.

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amylou8 · 16/07/2023 17:57

We didn't have ipads when mine were little, but Im sure they would have spent significantly more time on them than mumsnet would judge acceptable. I think it's about balance, if she's going to the park and toddler group and making cakes, then a few hours on the ipad is fine. If that's all she doing its not.

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Hugasauras · 16/07/2023 17:58

How much is hours? I'm pretty relaxed about screen time generally but I don't think hours a day at 2.5 is great tbh. There's plenty of time to learn letters and numbers. How has it ended up like this? Is she just left watching it until she gets bored?

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wholivesondrurylane · 16/07/2023 17:59

I don't know, I never let mine until they started Primary school, partly for lazy reason, because they don't miss what they don't know so we never had argument about screen or tablet. They didn't seem behind any one else.

If you like them using the tablet, it's your call. I don't believe the educational aspect, kids without screens know just as much and learn just as quickly.

We keep complaining that kids start school far too early, but some parent seem keen on pushing their children to know how to read, write and count as early as possible, it's weird. The others catch up quickly in reception.

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FlowersInTheSky · 16/07/2023 17:59

This is absolutely unacceptable. Why would you allow this? Because it keeps her quieter so you have an easier life?

I have a 2.5 year old too. There’s no way I would even dream of letting her have a tablet yet, let alone use it for hours every day.

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Lostthetastefordahlias · 16/07/2023 17:59

Is it because her father thinks he either has to directly entertain her or put the tv on? Can you teach him how to involve her in normal life, getting things done alongside her, encouraging independent play by setting out interesting toys, having quiet time so they can both rest etc? Not that you should have to but I found this didn’t come as naturally to DH as me (having been on mat leave) & once he got the hang of it he didnt need the tv so much.

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MelroseGrainger · 16/07/2023 17:59

Brk · 16/07/2023 17:56

Yes. Screentime (ipad and tv) does something weird to young children. If mine have more than an hr a day they become bad tempered, rude and over-emotional. All of my friends and relatives have noticed the same as their children. You won’t get information on that from google though, because google is swamped with sponsored ‘articles’ by the tech companies saying it’s all fine 🤦‍♀️ However the World Health Organisation recommends no more than an hour per day, and they do so for a reason.

I don’t know if it’s because of the constant fast-paced images going into their brain at a pace they can’t control, or if it’s merely because hours of screentime is hours of missed real world two-way social interaction, but either way; yes, it is damaging to give a lot of screentime to young children.

Sure your kid may learn the alphabet/numbers faster, but that isn’t important at this age, what you want is healthy brain growth and emotional development and hours of screentime is not going to give that.

That’s a useful and measured response, thank you.

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Hugasauras · 16/07/2023 18:00

'It’s the go-to for her otherwise very present and engaging and loving and affectionate father.'

Can you see the oxymoron in this statement? Hours in front of the iPad is the go-to for an engaging parent?

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Hermione101 · 16/07/2023 18:00

None of these “advances” actually matter at her age though. My 6-year old uses it as an adjunct to learning (about 20 minutes a day) and only started using it at home this year. The lack of an iPad when he was younger hasn’t hampered his leaning in any way.

My concern would be your DD’s default on using it as entertainment, she will probably use it more for that as she gets older to the exclusion of other activities if her time isn’t limited now.

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QueenOfWeeds · 16/07/2023 18:01

Of course there are educational ways to use it, but the time limitations suggested aren’t just about stimulation and brain development - there is also research into the impact on children’s eyesight and certainly (anecdotally) the school I work in, and colleagues in other schools, see a correlation between very poor distance vision and the amount of time spent looking at a close screen like a phone or tablet.

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MisschiefMaker · 16/07/2023 18:02

The huge problem is attention span. Screens give you all these quick endorphin hits and train your brain to expect quick wins every few seconds. You are damaging her brain's ability to function well over the long term. It's an awful, awful thing to do to a young child.

It is also true that the programs can be educational but that doesn't balance out the damage that they do.

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MelroseGrainger · 16/07/2023 18:03

Lostthetastefordahlias · 16/07/2023 17:59

Is it because her father thinks he either has to directly entertain her or put the tv on? Can you teach him how to involve her in normal life, getting things done alongside her, encouraging independent play by setting out interesting toys, having quiet time so they can both rest etc? Not that you should have to but I found this didn’t come as naturally to DH as me (having been on mat leave) & once he got the hang of it he didnt need the tv so much.

This is EXACTLY it. He’s a wonderful father and loves spending time with her. But thinking of ways to spend time with her doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does to me. They either have to be actually “doing” something (park, museum, class etc) or it’s the iPad. There’s not much in between with him.

Whereas she’ll happily potter about the supermarket with me, I’ll be gardening and she’ll be playing nearby. She and I will do some drawing or crafting or imaginative games together etc. it’s just easy for me. Not so much for him.

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almostoverthehill · 16/07/2023 18:03

What ever happened to books 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Jubaju · 16/07/2023 18:09

Does she watch tv too or is just iPad for hours a day?

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BoohooWoohoo · 16/07/2023 18:11

How are her other areas of development? For example does she walk as far as her peers? How good is she at climbing, riding a bike, scooting? How is her imagination?
I understand why the winter months might mean more screens, especially on weekday evenings when it gets dark so early but this is an age where they are happy to get wet (I am assuming you have some rain where you are) and they are easily impressed with free activities so I'd be making the most of that before the autumn/winter. Entertaining a pre-schooler if you're not used to playing is hard but doing something like going out might be much easier for your h who doesn't sound very engaged at all. What are his interests and hobbies? Can you preschooler join in? Whether it's music or sport, it will do your dd well to broaden her interests.
Im not flaming you but there's a good reason why tech leaders like Jobs and Gates didn't give their kids access to devices until mid teens and they still didn't get hours on it. They know that they are designed to be addictive and the younger they start, the better for those who make money out of it. It's good that she is watching age appropriate content but hours a day is just laziness. Sorry. Is your h even watching with her or is he on his own device watching something else ?

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MelroseGrainger · 16/07/2023 18:11

Jubaju · 16/07/2023 18:09

Does she watch tv too or is just iPad for hours a day?

Ironically, very little - if any - TV.

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Chasetherainblownfearsaway · 16/07/2023 18:11

The go-to entertainment for a 2.5 year old is a park/playground/garden. It's not even that much extra work!

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Housenoob · 16/07/2023 18:13

But how many hours on average? 2 or 10? Makes a big difference

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FilthyforFirth · 16/07/2023 18:16

Yabu. I have a 2.5 year old and no way would he be getting any tablet time, especially not for hours a day. Sorry you aaked, it's just awful.

At 2.5 does it really matter that she can identify different colours or know's the alphabet? She should be playing and learning about the world around her through play. There is plenty of time for the academic stuff.

Hard judge from me, sorry!

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Freepo · 16/07/2023 18:16

Wisterical · 16/07/2023 17:51

@Freepo oh come on, it's neither irrational nor sanctimonious to think a toddler should not have hours of screen time every day.

Never said it was, but the tone of some comments on such threads often is - saw one recently where someone said cocomelon was literally rotting children’s brains

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