My children play with tablets. There I’ve said it. Phew, that’s a weight off my mind!
I decided to get Big M an Amazon Kindle for Christmas last year. I thought about it, she had only just turned 3 but was interested in technology as it’s all the time in her school. They have a large touch screen computer and the way I see it. Whatever she does at home underpins the work she does at home.
To be honest I’m not that happy with the Kindle, I don’t think the apps are that great and I’ve already started to think can I justify getting them both an IPad Mini for Christmas this year? That’s going to be an interesting conversation to have with Mr VB later on in the year especially when we want to go on holiday next year.
I’ve given myself a couple of rules to abide by when it comes to playing on the tablets.
- I don’t want to take them to a restaurant or a café as I want my children to learn how to interact with people in different scenarios. That’s my choice, it may change as they get older as hopefully they will have developed their social skills more.
- When we play on them at home it’s for short amounts of time and it’s only really Big M who can play on them by herself so we generally wait until Little M is having her nap.
- Big M can only play on the tablet after we have done some of her speech and language homework.
- Only download free apps, otherwise it can become quite expensive.
- Try downloading things that have some educational value. That doesn’t have to be English and Maths related but simply improving their dexterity.
Big M enjoys playing on the tablet, and it has become a little bit of a time out for both of us really. Ironically I have been able to write this blog post because she’s having some time on the tablet. It gives us both a bit of space and now she’s a little older it’s good for to entertain herself.
The thing is, we can’t hide away from technology. My children will be learning how to code as they get older. I covered an ICT class a few months ago and the students in year 7 were doing some coding. I had no idea what they were talking about, which made for an interesting lesson! They’ll be designing apps and websites and doing a lot of their work on tablets. It’s just hard to move away from the traditional thinking that technology is bad. In my day, I was kicked out from morning til dusk and TV was a treat on a Saturday or a really rainy Sunday! We had to make our own fun, which was great and we loved it. I still want to try and give my children that freedom of being outside on their own, but I don’t want to take away their love of their own technology too.