We are a gadget family...I've mentioned it quite a few times here, pointed out some snazzy apps that make my life a little easier and fun apps that Kiddo enjoys. I've detailed how many computers, phones and iPads we have in the abode (yes, we have more of those than we do people). But, I do pause, stop, get a little somethingsomething at times when Kiddo plays on the iPad or I hand my phone to her while we wait at the airport. I wonder if all of this technology is okay for her?
Every other day, we read about studies that indicate, oh yes, that iPad is good for kids, it stretches their brain muscles, how those educational apps are perfectly okay-dokey...and then the next day, some other researcher says nope, screen time is bad for your child, affects how their brain becomes wired, messes up the natural rhythm.
I was at a supercool event at my good friend (and fellow writer and mom of three) Aidan Donnelley Rowley's home the other day. She has them often, these events -- they are called Happier Hours, where a group of women gather and listen to authors talk about their books, their inspiration, their writing life...you name it, it's chatted about.
At this particular Happier Hour, the authors of the new book Toddlers on Technology were the main stars. Their cool book examines how to tackle all of the questions we ask ourselves as we deal with tricky techy worlds and our kids and advises us on our attempt to get a handle on how much tech is too much tech for kids. It's a great read -- gives cool hints and tips on how to figure out apps that are right for your child, as well as provides tried-and-true games and activities that go beyond the screen time.
The book is a sigh of relief for moms today, especially me, because really, it boils down to this lone fact: I know am going to let Kiddo play on the iPad sometimes. I will. I know I will. It won't be for hours, but maybe 20 minutes one day and nothing the next, perhaps an hour on the weekend. So having tools like this book, a guide, something to show me how I do this to make sure it benefits her the most and harms her the least is, yeah, kind of great.
So, obviously, I don't have the answer on this technology and kids thing. I think it's about choosing good interactive apps that are educational and challenge her brain, not just numb it. It's about limiting the time she's allowed on it and expanding her world beyond it. It's like everything else with this Parenting Life -- you do the best you can, and that is all you can do.
Share how often your kids play on the iPad or smart phone...what apps do they love? How much do you limit the time?