Why I don’t believe in iPads/game consoles for young children.
First of all I want to start by saying that this post is just my personal opinion. All of us parent differently and this is just a little insight in to how I parent and my views. I believe we all have various parenting techniques and opinions, so it should be ok for people to share them to help or educate others.
Ok so the title says it all I do not believe in iPad or game console use for young children. There are many reasons for this but let me tell you how I came to this parenting view. As a teaching assistant I have worked with many different children. But I remember coming across one child that did something that stuck in my mind ever since. We were reading A Very Hungry Caterpillar together, the child was holding the book and began to swipe at the pages, literally dragging their finger across the page as if to swipe the page to go on to the next, just as you do with an iPad. This child was 3 years old and didn’t know how to turn a page in a book, they swiped instead. Now I understand the world is changing and technology is being incorporated more and more into our everyday lives and that there is so much greatness in technology. But personally for a child to not know how to use a book is incredibly sad and scary for me. I was in a class once that was all about the changes to teaching in schools and we watched a video that suggested that books and pens will be completely removed from classrooms in the future and pupils will do everything on an iPad or computer alike. It also showed technology parks for children, where they had images of this big area covered in all different types of seating arrangements with children sat down staring at screens, not interacting or talking to each other I found it absolutely absurd. I’m not sure if I’m just old fashioned but I hate this prospect!
When I came across the child who swiped at books, I made a promise to myself and to my children that I will never allow that to happen to them. I will never include technology into our lives so much that I will no longer be teaching them. I want my children to learn through real life experiences with real life objects not virtual pictures on a computer screen. I want to be able to teach my children their colours by painting or colouring with them, learning to count by going outside to count flowers, stones or sticks, learning their shapes by using household objects they will come across every day. Now many people say to me but you can do all that and have an iPad for them too and my answer to this is always but why? If your children are learning everything they need to know through you and real life experiences and your child is that young they haven’t even asked you for an iPad or games console then why do they need to have one? I mean seeing 1 year olds get them for their birthday is quite ridiculous do you not think?
For young children who have incredible, precious, time limited imaginations, why would you want to supress that by giving them a screen to look at or play with that does all the imagination part for them? Because realistically that’s what your doing by giving children iPads and game consoles your supressing their imagination. The mind is being given images to think about rather than the mind making it’s own images up to think about, one of the greatest gifts of being a child is lost to a computer screen in my opinion. I also think it’s important to not over stimulate our children by constantly giving them something to do all of the time. People have told me they give the iPads to their children when they are bored. But I think it’s important to allow a child to be bored, this is when decision making and real imagination kicks in. Luca could literally make a game up from sticks and stones if he wanted to and I would rather that than him sitting down staring at a screen.
Some people give their children iPads to be quiet and sit still in a restaurant or somewhere similar. But how will a child ever learn how to behave in one of these places if a screen is shoved in their face every time they are there? If I was doing something that would be a challenge for Luca, like eating out when he was younger (he’s much more tolerable to these places now he’s 4) but I mean you can’t expect a 2 year old to sit quietly the whole time can you? so I would only go to child friendly places with a play area or I made sure my bag was packed with activities like colouring and toys to play with to keep him entertained. I get called old fashioned all of the time, I know not everyone will agree with me. But I just know of people that couldn’t live without an iPad for their children and I just want to make at least one of you think twice about them and that raising children without one is perfectly fine and doable. How do you think children were raised before technology?
My child may not know how to use an iPad but he can teach you how to climb a tree, he can show you how to use your imagination without a care in the world, he can show you how to care for animals, how do flips on a trampoline, how to not be scared of anything and give everything a go, how to make friends, how to balance on stepping stones with bare feet, how to make mudpies, how to be kind to others, how to ride a bike and he will even show you how to hold a spider without being afraid.
As always thank you for popping over to have a read, I hope you have all had a great weekend and I shall speak to you in the next blog 🙂