Dads are great parents and they love taking care of their kids which gives moms a break from taking care of the youngones in the house. But, how do fathers handle kids? We all know that the 21stcentury kids love technology. It might be tempting to hand over a tablet to a screaming child when all else fails to calm them down.
Dads are more willing to handover tablets to kids than moms, sometimes they are just tired and need rest, or want to do other stuffs like gaming or check up on their work. But mostly, it’s because they genuinely think kids can learn a lot from playing around on the tablet.
There are many uses for tablets and smart devices when it comes to keeping children under control. Moreover, kids have a limited concentration span and they require additional efforts to keep calm and this is why most fathers would opt for tablets and their installed applications.
Below are some reasons:
- Because banning things never, ever, ever works.
- Technology Skills; dads love technology and they love to share this with their kids.
- Expectations in school; schools use tablets for study and kids using tablets at home is a way of practice.
- Interest; kids love shiny and colorful things. They enjoy tapping and touching the tablets screen while playing games which keeps them engaged.
- Literacy; tablets and mobile devices used by children can provide an educational benefit. Interactive media, such as electronic books and learn-to-read applications can be useful in teaching vocabulary and reading comprehension, but only in children preschool-age
- Reality; These devices are becoming more and more common
- To get the kids to eat; Kids do not love eating foods like vegetables. Tablets do the magic, give them a tablet and the plate will be wiped clean.
- To get the kids to sleep/nap;Tablets are the ultimate baby soothers, popping bubbles in his favorite video game, listening to animated nursery rhymes or watching YouTube clips of animals helps kids to fall asleep quickly.
Positive aspects of tablets
Although there is enough research to strongly criticize the use of tablets on growing children and toddlers, controlled usage of these will have the following advantages:
- The child develops interest in technology which might shape the path for future endeavors. Technology is being incorporated into education and some skill on how to use it is important at a young age.
- Tablets and smartphone bring out and nurture creative abilities in an interesting way.
- If used correctly, there can be increased development of cognitive and social features. Get involved in what your child sees and talk about what is being done.
- Children also use tablets for communication. For instance, if they Skype or Facetime a friend or relative through the device. Teens also use the device to nurture and maintain online friendship as part of social development.
Negative effects of tablets
- In the initial years of childhood development, a lot of brain development and activity is noted. With regards to this, more skill is retained if the child interacts with actual people and not figures in the tablet. In future years, there might be tampered brain development from previous practices.
- The bond between the child, parents and siblings as well as other kids is hindered. There are social aspects such as language development as well as emotional concepts which are only learned through real human interaction. This also helps the child understand more about himself.
- Physical activity is also as important to the kid as all other stuff. Therefore, they should be active almost throughout the day with minimum hours of adventuring through the tablet screen.
Rules on how kids should use tablets and smartphones
So that there aren’t adverse effects on the upbringing and development of the child, here are simple guidelines on how to get the most out of screen time:
- Be involved and interested with what the child sees or uses the tablet for. Make it a fun experience as you talk about what is displaying as this also adds to brain and language development, which is just same as reading a book or narrating a story. Humans get more knowledge when they actively interact.
- Use the parental control security feature in the device. It is a good idea to restrict what the child is able to see and have more time to discuss what is seen online. This also prevents them from accessing unwanted sites and application for their age.
- Tablet use should only be allowed indoors. Unregulated screen use means that other activities such as physical play and other interactions don’t get enough time. The golden rule is to have a balance between the two worlds.
- Always show the right content intended for children.
- Interactive media and simulations promote brain development. Therefore, it is wise to substitute a lot of time in front of the TV screen with use of games which are geared towards cognitive and mental development.
- Children copy what they see. If they see you spending too much time on your smartphone, they do the same. Make the child understand that you love being in their world by interacting with them rather than sitting on the couch using your tablet endlessly.
- It is important to discuss with the child how many hours are allowed on screen so that they also learn making their own decisions.
- Have clear guidelines on the use of smartphones and tablets. For example, create a schedule that covers both interactions, physical activities, screen time as well as school.
How to find favorable applications for kids
There are many services branded educational although they have no educational impact whatsoever. After some time, children loose interest in them and you should go for ‘old school’ workbooks with wrong and right answers.
Free apps are not so good either. They are choked with adverts and sometimes stop the session by demanding payment before it resumes. Free apps are not always best and it’s much better to spend your coins on something that develops the child wholesomely.
Choosing the right application
Be careful when picking an app. You should give deep consideration and also go through user reviews to have an idea of what using the app would be like. Consequently, there should be a range of apps and games which continuously challenge the child to think critically.