Before the Toddler was born I was one of those purists. My child won’t watch tv. My child won’t have any screen time. It’s unnecessary.
To give post baby me some credit – he didn’t have much tv to begin with, the background noise of whatever I was watching. He just wasn’t interested. Then he was. And still is.
We live in a technical world, a world of smart phones and tablets. Where if you want the answer to something you google it. Where the internet makes things and people easily accessible.
I use the internet on a daily basis. Frequently. Not just with blogging. I check out Facebook, I play around on Twitter, I search Pinterest, I (occasionally) read the news. I use my phone to take photos so it’s never too far away. We Skype back to the UK so that my sons can have a relationship with people back home that miss and adore them.
So I ask, is technology for a 2 year old that bad?
In our house we have a smart phone each, an iPad, laptops and 2 TV’s. Nothing too excessive, but definitely 2 year old accessible.
He has full access to everything. He hasn’t quite grasped how to unlock the iPad when the pin is on and we have to frequently remind him that it’s OUR iPad not HIS but he is allowed to use it. Every day. For apps and for watching his beloved television shows.
He can put the t.v. on but can’t work the remote.
He can unlock my phone and take selfies. I often find a row of chin shots on my phone that I haven’t taken of him.
And sometimes I worry that it’s too much. Did you know that today the average child’s dexterity of their pointing finger is generally fully developed by aged 2 thanks to smart technology. Previously this wouldn’t develop until primary school age.
I can’t work out if that’s a good or bad thing.
But then I look around and I see what he is learning and gaining through the use of technology. It’s at this point I stop worrying.
The iPad enables him to have a relationship with his family as we are overseas. It enables him to talk to Daddy when either of us are away. It challenges him with various educational games to learn colours, and matching, and shapes.
The TV gives me 5 minutes respite when I am trying to calm down Baby Boy and feed him. It allows the Toddler to sit still for 2 minutes and enjoy some snuggles. It allows for a bit of recharge time for all of us.
The photos that we take on my phone mean lasting memories, and a chance to update Daddy on our day, especially useful when we go back to the UK.
And on top of all that, other children use technology. Schools use technology. Gone are the days that you buy your lined paper from WH Smiths and hand in a beautiful handwritten essay done using your best fountain pen (or in my case my lucky chewed biro) kids these days email, they download onto USBs, they have an understanding of hardware and software, heck the blackboards are no longer blackboards but interactive digital contraptions.
Do I want my child to go into school “behind” in technology as I haven’t allowed him access to computers or iPads? No I don’t. I’m not saying he won’t catch up, because of course he will a childs capacity for learning is a tremendous thing, but if I don’t allow moderate access now would that mean that when we finally allowed access he would overdose on technology? Forget the joy of running outside and of using his imagination? Possibly.
And for all of the above, we will continue to allow the Toddler access to all of our technology. In moderation. Under our supervision. You won’t be seeing us buying him a new iPad for Christmas that’s for sure, though I wouldn’t say no to Santa bringing me one. Or a Mac, I’d really like one of those too…