We live in a technologically driven world no secret. I never intended to let NJ become another statistic, you know, the one where 38% of babies under the age of 2 are using tablets or smartphones (it`s an American statistic but I`m sure it holds similar in Canada).
Before we were expecting, we`d see the minivans drive by with the TVs in the backseat, and we could only imagine the zombie like look on the kids faces as they tuned into whatever was on the screen. We never wanted to expose her to too much television to begin with and we certainly did not want to be the parents who purchased an iPad for any of NJ`s single digit birthdays.
Intentions are all fine and dandy but the execution is what matters!
There are countless opinions on kids and technology does it hinder or help their development? What does it teach them? How often should they be allowed to use it? Is it realistic to limit television to 2 hours a day? If my toddler watches an hour of YouTube, does that count towards those 2 hours?
Only you can determine what works best for your family. I personally think that to ignore technology and consciously deprive your child of it has more drawbacks than benefits. We let NJ use the tablet and she has (obviously) taken quite a liking to it so much so that she calls it Tabby and so do we.
It`s quite interesting to watch her swipe the tablet open, choose a game or video and the sheer focus on her face while doing it all. She loves to learn about shapes, colours and singing along to musical videos The Wheels on the Bus is on constant repeat these days.
But with the good comes the bad and I`m sure parents can agree with this: when the time comes to take the technology away, the tantrums are not pretty.
We can`t let it get to the point of an iPotty (training potty with a built-in console for an iPad).Yes, such a thing exists.
We have to be able to go a day without giving the toddler her tech toy or at the very least, be able to take the tech away when we need to.
Laptopmag.com posted an article about the 6 things we need to know in order to avoid toddler tech tantrums:
1. Limit exposure time
2. Control the content they use
3. Restrict access to online stores (duh!)
4. Use devices as motivators, not bribes
5. Embrace the tantrum (easier said than done but makes sense)
6. Lead by example (this will be easier for some but not others)
One of the biggest things about parenting is that we have to place priority on setting boundaries (no matter how small) and implementing structure (again, no matter how small the effort is). But we have to remember that tantrums, before technology and all its greatness, are a normal part of toddlerhood.
Only now, it`s just Toddler Tantrums 2.0 folks!