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Smarter Family: Technology and Your Kids

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 30 Replies

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 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?

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by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Platinum Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:44 AM
My 3.5 yr old DD plays on it all the time. She is not only reading (and I do not mean just sight words), she is doing math, learning about space, learning French, and so many other things.

If you are careful what apps you download it makes a big difference. We only have a few that are just fun games without much education behind it.

I plan to homeschool and expect to be using it often.
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 2:35 AM

My kids are more technology smart then I am

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM
we do not have an ipad and my kids are not allowed to play with so no time at all i guess lol
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by Ruby Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:21 AM

 my daughter has a kindle & she's on it pretty much every day.  while she does play some games on it she mostly spends that time watching/playing along with the tutorials her fiddle teacher has online.

my son will play on the kindle also but he only plays the learning apps i have put on there for him.  occasionally when we're out at a restaurant, dr's appointment or such my husband will let him play on his phone.

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by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:25 AM

My kids love the ipad and ipod. My daughter loves watching netflex on the ipad. They also play treeworld, minecraft, angry birds, and candy crush. We also have an app that teaches them the states and they love that. I can't think of the other learning games we have right now.

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

My son has an iPad he uses daily because he has autism and he uses it to communicate and accomplish his day. It even goes to school with him. He got it free from a charity though we did not buy it. The baby steals it on casino to color. He loves his choice works program, reading raven, and he has a few puzzle building programs. He also uses Netflix or you tube to watch videos to get him through social situations he would freak out during otherwise

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 1:39 PM

 they play with many electronics.. sometimes too many :/  I have to unplug them and take them out most of the time.  My daughter loves moshi monsters and monster high.. aside from many other games, but right now she is addicted to mindcraft.  My son has his first job so he does not have as much time as he used to and plays on his free time.

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:02 PM

My 4 year old plays on it often. She likes Angry Birds, lol. There are also a few education apps that she loves to play with too.

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by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 5:29 AM

My kids each have their own Kindle Fire, they play it about an hour a day. It's good for when we're in waiting rooms or driving somewhere.

by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I have an 9 yr old and I limit the amount of technology she owns as well as the time she spends using it. She is allowed to use my computer for homework only. She is also allowed to play a few learning games on the ipod..that's it. I would rather she be outside playing/learning.

I think parents should do what works best for them.

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