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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Of iPhones and iPads

There are too many toddlers and kids who are addicted to these gadgets.

In shopping malls, I see them glued to the screens while chauffeured around in their prams. During mealtimes, only a screen in front of them would coax them to open their golden mouths. At bedtime, only a long time spent on these gadgets will lull them to slumberland. This lessens human interaction and cuts off their sense of curiosity and discovery of their surroundings, and worsens eye sight!

I'm lucky to say that at 28 month old, Aiden occasionally plays on the iPad and often watches YouTube videos on songs for kids but he's never reliant on these or addicted. And I hope to keep it this way.

I feel guilty at times when I'm too exhausted to wake up so early with him especially on weekends. I'd pass him the iPad with a coloring app or interactive games that he can play independently.

I'm amazed at how toddlers can intuitively and so quickly learn how to navigate these gadgets. Sometimes playing video after video on the iPhone to entertain him while I catch up on some sleep. So I'm glad to say he isn't all addicted, yet, despite me shoving them his way at times,

He's happy piecing jigsaw puzzles with me, coming up with new creations with his Lego and imaginary play and talk with his train set, cars, lorries and bikes. He enjoys reading bedtime stories with me- an activity I really enjoy with him as its bonding time and I am happy he likes and picks up words quickly. In the last six months, I'd have to say that Aiden picked up so many new words and can link them in sentences though he needs to work on pronunciation. He is also very into music and dance and I am always happy to hear him singing happily away - totally in tune though words are muffled. Makes me feel rewarded for singing to him since he was a baby.

Is your kid addicted to the iPad or iPhone? How do you balance this with the traditional toys and encourage more human face time?

Father & son bonding over a video


  1. We try very very VERY hard not to let the kids play with the ipad or our phones. The little one is only15 months old so she's not even allowed to. But her sister is 5 and she feels deprived cos all her friends and cousins are glued to them. We do lots if crafts and read and try to go out often. She's old enough to understand (but may not necessarily accept without a pout) that these things are bad for her eyes (and not to mention social development). There are folks who might say that the iPad is great cos it teaches their children their ABCs or to sing, but we're conventional folks. We prefer to teach our kids ourselves. It's funny cos even my parents are saying we should expose the kids to the ipad more because if not, they might lose out in school since schools are using iPads more and more. But we think they're ok to wait:)

    I'm not against the ipad. I think it's a great against it being used as a long term babysitter.

    I think you're doing great

    1. Thanks Adora! And thanks for sharing your experience.
      We too agree that it won't be too tough for kids to catch up next time in school as these gadgets are pretty intuitive and they learn pretty quickly.

      The challenge now is to keep them engaged with interesting activities so they won't turn to the iPad for entertainment.

  2. I'm guilty of doing something similar as you, Cheryl.

    When I want that extra time to sleep, or to do house work, I will take the tablet (we use androids, not apple products) and pass it to Blake. Or, switch on the TV playing his favourite videos.

    He uses it at meal times (oops!) to watch videos (I think he got that from me, cos I must watch something in order to eat when I'm alone), and at huge family gatherings cos my boy.. to be honest.. don't really like hanging out with them. He prefers to lock himself, with daddy, in a room and do all kinds of things - like switching on the music in the tablet and start singing and dancing.

    I guess it has its pros and cons. If one exposes their child to these gadgets, then the time spent on it has to be monitored.

    Thankfully for me, Blake will automatically pick up a book, or toy (he has plenty), and start imaginative play. Phew! Sometimes, good to have a child who's easily distracted :P Hehe.

    1. Thanks for sharing Mabel :)

      Yes as much as I feel guilty of it, I really need some me time too! We got to keep the balance and try to engage them more in human interaction so that they won't get too addicted and become anti social.

  3. Our kids are older now, so it's easier for us to control, phew! When mummy said no, it's no. They have to behave well to earn some play times on the iPad (use as rewards and not to babysit) and that happens like once every few weeks. Our phones they are not allowed to touch (we said our phones are strictly for work use, haha).

    For kids, don't have to worry they have nothing to do. Just let them be, and they would automatically pick up a book or a toy or whatever. Once they know that iPad is one of the things that they can choose to play, surely they would request for it.

    But then, we have another babysitter at home - the TV :-) Though also very limited TV time, but when we really have to distract them, we would rather use TV (usually runs a DVD) than gadgets, it's so much easier to control.

    1. That's great! Mummy rules! Some older kids we know are really addicted to the iPad and iPhone, so much so that they don't even greet us or interact when we go out. Got to be really strict about it from the start I guess.

      Good idea to use time on the iPad as rewards - will see how this goes when my boy is bigger.


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