Why I Will Buy My Children Tablet Computers
By Layla Everard • February 9, 2014
I am currently watching my 6 year old twin daughters create some wonderful artwork using plastic bottles, cello tape and lots of paint whilst my nearly 3 year old son is happily playing with his wooden train tracks. All this when there are 3 tablets turned off nearby. The only thing that is unusual about this scenario is that it's a rarity in this house for all three children to be playing so quietly and without arguments!
My point is that whilst all my 3 children have access to tablets (the girls have their own and my son uses mine) it doesn't mean that that is all they want to play with all day! This morning started with all three of them playing with the tablets. Either immersed in a children's program using a catch up app or playing on a free game (usually involving annoying beeping noises that drive me mad on a Sunday morning). But after a while the tablets were discarded with no encouragement from me or their father and new fun things were found to play with.
Just because they own such devices doesn't mean they will spend all day on them. Yes I know some children out there will ask to play on devices like these all day long, but my experience has shown that as long as other activities are available, most children will happily switch between active play, art work and electronic toys equally.
What I do believe is that banishing these devices all together will put your children at a serious disadvantage in later life in comparison to their peers. I whole heartedly believe that life will revolve around this sort of technology as time goes on (it pretty much already does). It will be part of our everyday lives just as cars, televisions and mobile phones are all part of our lives today. Imagine if you had never had a computer growing up and went for a job in an office. You could be the most intelligent applicant in the room but if you had no idea what Word, Excel or the Internet was or how to use them, you would be instantly at the bottom of the pile.
Growing up I watched a lot of television (and I mean a lot). Now, I still watch a lot of television. So what! I also like to cycle, read, play piano, knit and make cakes. It's just one of my hobbies. It doesn't define me and it certainly doesn't hold me back from living my life. Technology isn't evil. It has become an essential part of modern life. Of course you can live without technology but to believe you are somehow harming your children by teaching them how to use it just seems ludicrous. Surely knowledge is power? I want my children to know about everything our amazing society has discovered and created, not just bits of it.
So when my son asks for a computer like his sister for his third birthday next month, I will of course get him one. Just like we bought him a bike for Christmas, his beloved wooden train tracks and the books he makes me read him every night before bed!
Of course my insights are based on nothing more than life experience and my time as a parent but what else do I use when deciding how to raise my children. Let your children show you just how diverse they can be in their play and don't hold them back from learning about everything the world has to offer.
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