It is interesting how different our childhood was compared to our own children’s childhood today. As much as we may want to raise them without all of the technology that is offered today, it is just simply too hard to avoid it. I will openly admit it before I had a child I swore that I would not let my children watch TV, or have an iPad, or play with my phone. I judged parents who would let their kids watch shows while they were out to eat and I never understood how a parent would allow their child to play with their phone. Looking back I feel bad that I ever judged a parent at all! I know we all parent differently, but I have learned throughout my brief parenting time that there are occasions when technology is OKAY for a parent to have their child use technology. As much as we want to avoid the horrors of technology, sometimes it is okay to give in without the fear of being judged. Here are FIVE times that it is acceptable for kids to use those technology items.
When you are out to eat
I am a huge advocate for having family dinners and for everyone to be “present” at the dinner table, but every once in a while when I go out to eat I feel like a calm meal is well deserved. It is okay to occasionally put on a show for your child on an iPad or on your phone to keep your younger child occupied while eating. I usually like to keep my child engaged with me and whoever I am with until he becomes too anxious in his chair, then when the food gets there I will put on a show to keep him a little more occupied. (This is not an everyday thing! Remember not to judge other parents when you see them out and about! You never know how hard of a day the parent may be having.)
Long car rides
I love traveling with my son but sometimes when the car rides get a little long it becomes difficult to entertain my toddler, especially when it is just my son and me. When I know I will be traveling far I usually download some movies or learning shows from Netflix, as well as educational games for my son to keep him entertained!
Plane rides are always interesting when it comes everyone from babies to toddlers. I was able to find some Apps for kids that allow them to match different objects and solve puzzles as well as one that kids can actually color with! This is so convenient when traveling because nothing is more irritating than losing a marker or colored pencil in the isles of an airplane!
Teaching kids numbers and colors
There are many different Apps and Youtube videos that can actually teach children the alphabet, numbers, and colors. I do not like to stick my son in front of the iPad or TV, but it is nice to know that if I am trying to get something done around the house in a short amount of time there are now tools that allow me to keep my toddler entertained.
Getting familiar with a new language
I would love for my son to know multiple languages, or to at least be familiar with a different language. With technology, I am able to find different learning shows that I can show my son. I love finding different shows that allow my son to sing along.
Like I stated before, I definitely was “anti” technology when it came to my son. I am more than guilty for judging other parents for allowing their kids to use technology at a young age but when I became a parent I thought to myself “why not use a tool that is provided to us”. It is interesting to ask our parents what they think about technology and kids. When I talk to my parents about it they admit that if it was offered when I was being raised they would have used it. I am not saying that it should be used to entertain a child all day every day! I still do not really like my son to use it often, but sometimes it is definitely helpful and it is not all bad. If I could give any advice to parents out there about technology I would say: Do not judge other parents who allow children to use their phones or iPads, they are not all bad. But, I would also say to make sure, as parents, you set regulations for the amount of time your child uses technological devices. We have to adapt to the changes in the world today and find the good that can come out of technology and our children!