Understanding how to use a computer, tablet and smartphone is imperative these days. You could argue it's a form of literacy. When you think about it from that perspective it doesn't sound as crazy to allow your kids to use devices at young ages. Technology is their world, whereas us parents born in the early 80s can remember technology as being just a part of our world. In this installment of the Real Mom Series we are exploring this idea of introducing technology to your kids, how we do it now and how others do it.
Elle and Levi have an iPad that they share and they play games on. There are also iPhone apps that I keep on my phone for them to play. I don't feel guilty at all about it because to me it's not the fact they use a device that is harmful it's the type of content they consume and how much of it they are consuming. So, put away shame for letting your kids watch T.V. and a movie in one day.
There are definitely age appropriate apps and shows, and I think it's up to us parents to use discretion and to watch the shows with our kids so we can understand what they are consuming. We have all of the usual apps like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and even Disney Jr. and Nick Jr. Together we decide the show they are going to watch, and I make sure the kids either agree or take turns selecting. I am always in the room when they are watching a T.V. show or something on their iPad so I can monitor it.
I think that's the key. Be proactive as a parent in knowing how they are spending their time, what they are spending it on and how they are being affected by it. If you don't like how they are speaking to you after they watch Paw Patrol, then don't let you kids watch it.
That said, I've seen a lot of buzz about the kids YouTube app going around on parenting blogs, and I agree that it's an app you don't want your young kids interacting with. There's a lot of strange content on there that Elle would get obsessed with such as the unboxing channels. And we ended up deleting it and she returned to her normal self.
What are your feelings on technology and kids? Are you proactive in being involved in what they watch?