It doesn’t like it was that long ago when parents were debating whether children should use iPads or tablets. Today, however, the question is not if, but when. Children, especially those under the age of two, need to interact with the world around them as much as possible.
This helps them develop their motor skills, learn body language, understand facial expressions, and much more. With this in mind, we recommend not introducing your children to iPads until they’re older than 2 at the earliest.
Tips for iPads and children
If you’re ready to introduce your child to an iPad or tablet, keep the following tips in mind.
- Don’t start too young
As we mentioned earlier, there is an age that is too young for a child to have or use an iPad. This is because their brains are still developing, and they need to interact with the physical world as much as possible. Of course, the occasional use of your iPad is ok, so long as you minimise its use to when it’s only necessary.
- Use it the right way
There is a right way and a wrong way to use an iPad with children. It’s all about showing them the right content so they can get more out of their time than just entertainment. If you choose the right apps and show them quality content such as free cartoons for babies and toddlers, your children and learn as they play. Just make sure everything you download for them is age appropriate so they can get as much out of it as possible.
- Have Boundaries
Boundaries are important for young children, especially when it comes to using technology. If you’re not sure what these should be, here are some suggestions on where to start:
– Minimise to 1 or two hours a day outside of homework, speaking with family, or during long trips or other rare occasions.
– Have a password on the device to avoid unnecessary access.
– Use parental controls to stop the accidental exploration of the internet.
– Especially for younger children, don’t let them use the iPad when you aren’t nearby.
- Lead by example
Children are very impressionable, especially when they’re young. It might not be obvious, but they learn a lot simply from watching those around them. If the people in their lives are constantly glued to screens, they will of course want to do the same. Try to minimise how much personal screens are used around your children so they don’t pick up bad habits too young.
- Don’t use it as a fallback
Lastly, avoid using the iPad as a fail-safe every time you need them to sit still or you hear the dreaded phrase “I’m bored”. Instead, use it as an educational tool or a group activity that can be enjoyed with siblings or others.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to give your child an iPad in a healthy way.