Saturday, September 15, 2012

Toddlers and Ipads - Agree or Disagree?

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This seems to be a hot topic with the more technology that is being released with each passing month.  The recommendations are at the moment that all screens (television mostly) are bad for kids in general. This research focuses mainly on the fact that there is no interaction between TV. However an the new touchscreen phones, ipads, and other tablets bring that over half of young children in United States have access to bring up the question are they just as unsafe?

A study sponsored by theJoan Ganz Cooney Center  using an iPod Touch found that children children 4 to 7-years-old improved on a vocabulary test after using an educational app called "Martha Speaks." The thirteen 5-year-olds tested averaged a 27% gain. A study using a different educational app had a similar result, with 3-year-olds exhibiting a 17% gain.

There isn't enough research to prove if letting kids use tablets and smartphones is a good thing or bad thing. There is one thing for sure though gone are the days of just pushing buttons or staring blankly at a screen. The tablets are engaging kids minds and making them think. At least that is how it is in my house.

You see for the past 4 months my son has had iPad fever. Now before it wasn't so bad but now that we are in the same house and I am two doors away from him he wakes me up in the mornings asking for the iPad. I had no problems with him playing it until the tantrums started when he didn't get it. Which leads to him not getting it for the rest of the day. He has learned a lot of colors, shapes, and letters. But lately he has taken to playing a cat and mouse game which is going to soon disappear. Simply because he will not play anything but it. But do I think there is a problem with him having it? Not really, he still plays with his toys and he still goes outside. He still interacts with us.

Obviously you can see where I sit on this side of the fence.

With him turning 3 in just over a month I am starting to feel the crunch though to get him out of diapers and into his big boy underwear. He is ready but unwilling. Tried treats and rewards and everything else under the sun. Any suggestions?

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