Kids and Technology
Parent Blogger Emma shares her views on technology and kids. Do you agree?
We walked into a restaurant over Christmas and were immediately greeted by a full table of kids playing on iPads. It’s not an unusual sight, wherever I go I see children playing on phones or tablets, waiting in queues, sat in coffee shops and even in the car.
I really do get that apps can be educational, and I’m sure have helped children who don’t enjoy reading and writing learn in a way that suits them better. We have an iPad and my kids do use it, but only very occasionally. I also understand that if you want to enjoy a peaceful coffee, or meal with friends perhaps it’s an easy way to keep kids quiet and happy, but for me that kind of use doesn’t feel right.
I love technology, my work has always been technology based, I’m a computer geek, I’m never far from my social media channels, but there is a time and place for everything. What’s wrong with playing hangman on scraps of paper in a restaurant? Chatting to family and friends, or making up jokes and games. Isn’t that what childhood is?
While I’m writing this my girls have made a boat from a cardboard box and are playing going to ‘Peppa Pig World’. I have no doubt that if our iPad was in sight they’d be fighting over that instead of playing a lovely, happy game together. I’m not saying I’m perfect, far from it. I use TV, tablets and my phone as entertainment just like everyone else, my three year old can whizz around an iPad with the best of them,but I do limit screen time and try not to use as the easy option.
On the flip side, I worry that my kids will be left behind by their friends if they aren’t allowed to keep up with the latest apps, but I hope that one day they’ll appreciate that I made them sit and chat rather than watch clips on YouTube.
What do you think? Are our kids missing out on childhood because of the wealth of entertainment at our fingertips? Or are the benefits of tablets and learning opportunities worth the decline of more traditional family games, and can you have both?