When the iPhone, iPad and other smart devices were introduced with their app rich platforms they made life easy for parents worldwide. If your child is not eating, show him a video on the smart phone, if he is bored at a party let him play a game, if you are taking a long ride there couldn’t be a more compact and entertaining toy. Smart phone device companies have provided a magical wand in the parents hands to control just about any tantrum, any melt down or eliminating boredom for their tots. Also it’s form factor helps us carry it with us just about anywhere in a pocket, in a purse, in a bag. A perfect on the go device.
But as my tot turned 4 years old this year I am starting to feel that the smart devices are likely to disconnected my tot from everything around him. Especially during our travels I want him to be looking around, experiencing a different world and immersing himself in his own little ways. This time around I am trying to hide these devices, remove apps that are not enriching and providing a specific time of access vs. providing access on demand. Setting a certain amount of time and a schedule to access the device could surely prove enriching. But using these devices in other uncalled situations – we might be robbing our children from opportunities to learn, socialize and immerse.
So everyday when I need to prepare dinner and my tot is on the verge of hunger we spend about 20 minutes on our smart device. I did leave a story on the IPad besides the 3 other apps I would like him to explore.
Don’t let your smart device disconnect your tot, let him grow, get bored at times and find his own creative ways of entertainment.