December 15, 2015

Why I Allow My Children to Use Technology as Much as They Want

There have been so many stories lately about why children shouldn’t use technology, like watch television or play on their iPads, for an extended period of time and how both are so bad for their health. Give me a break! I am here today to let you know that I actually think playing with the iPad and watching TV are GOOD for my children and I will continue to let them watch whatever they want, when they want!

A recent study found that a third of pre-school age children in the UK have their own iPad or similar electronic that they use for a little over an hour a day. I am not the electronics/technology police at my house, but I know that my pre-schooler, Capri, uses her iPad at night (and sometimes during the day if she chooses) but I don’t time her. The study also stated that more than half of the pre-school children in the study (so about 1,000 kids) knew how to swipe, close out apps, drags items and do operational commands with their iPad. I am not going to brag, but Capri knew how to work her iPad before she turned 1. They are simple technology skills.

I believe researches are worried that children will get too caught up in technology and won’t be active and moving. My child is not one to just sit around ALL DAY doing nothing because I have taught her that there are other things to do and do those things with her. But when she does decide to take a break and watch TV or use the iPad, she is learning and I just let her go because when her show is over or she is finished playing her game, she will be back to bouncing off the wall because we all know a 3 year old’s attention span is short!

Additionally, while we are on the subject of watching children’s shows, I am tired of people jumping all over children’s programming. One of Capri’s favorite shows, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, has been getting a lot of slack lately from mommy bloggers because the “Clubhouse gang isn’t always nice to Pete.” Whatever. That’s life! People aren’t always going to be nice and guess what?! My daughter happens to like Pete and quite often says he is her favorite character (I guess that is a whole other blog in itself). But the show has taught my daughter numbers, colors, animals, adventure and a bunch of other things! I approve her watching this show on TV and the iPad and believe that she learns valuable things from it.
As a parent that grew up with Saturday morning cartoons, I don’t dive too deep into the shows or apps she is playing. In fact, before Cam was born, I really didn’t watch what she watched on TV or her iPad. I knew it was a show or an app meant for her because I turned it on or downloaded the app. If she was sitting down resting, then that was my time to get some other work done and really, she needed the rest because she is constantly on the go! But since Cam has been around, I have watched more Disney Jr./Nick Jr./Sprout than I ever have. It is funny to watch shows with Capri now because I realize this is where all of her make believe stories are derived from. These shows and iPad games help her imagination grow! She plays dress up like the Disney Princesses or Sofia the First and is a doctor like Doc McStuffins. She also likes Paw Patrol and runs around pretending to be like Skye flying in her helicopter or tells me about the mystery in the house like on Scooby Doo. She knows body parts and shapes thanks to different apps and has learned about different places in the world that I probably would never talk about (Want to know about China? Ask her!)
If it wasn’t for television or her iPad, I don’t believe Capri would have as much information in her little brain as she does now because let’s face it – I am not into China, or doctor stuff, or princess stuff. And let me repeat that she is not sitting around watching these shows all day. But I don’t time her and let her watch what she wants, when she wants because we do have our time to do other hands on activities or go outside and explore. Heck, if it wasn’t for Jake and the Neverland Pirates then the swing set outside might not be as fun since it is now “Captain Hook’s pirate ship sailing the Neverseas” according to Capri.

Do you allow your children to use technology? How old were they when they started to watch TV or play on an iPad?

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