We all know, technology is great and can be a wonderful thing if used in moderations. I remember growing up in the 80’s in Germany; everyone said TV is bad, go outside and play. A lot of my friends didn’t have any TV’s or weren’t allowed to watch. My family only had 3 channels until I was well into my teenage years. Flash forward to 2013 and not only do our kids have TV access, they also have iPad’s, iPhone’s, Kindle’s, Internet and all kind of game systems like Wii, Playstation3 and many more.
We all know the exposure these electronics have to our kids and I’m not saying they are bad at all. Honestly, I always recommend our iPad to our friends and their kids. My Princess has the iPad1 and used it ever since she was 2 or maybe 2.5, I think.
If you can find a used iPad 1 for a reasonable price, it will be better than any of the “learning” games out there that will cost you hundreds to get started and each game will run $25 and up. The iPad is a onetime fee and even without the purchase of any of the many apps, you have a learning tool ready to go. Millions of wonderful App’s a FREE, especially for kids. But if you are planning on investing in a few games that actually cost money, it really won’t break your bank, $1.99 or maybe the most I’ve seen for a full game for a Preschooler is $4.99; can’t complain about that.
Now, that being said, there is also cautions of using any of the electronics. Limit the amount your little one plays on these devices. I’ve seen an article the other day about kids and iPad’s and was truly amazed. Children as young as 6 month old got addicted to using the iPad or the iPhone and when Mom or dad would take away the device, the child had true withdrawal symptoms from tantrums to kicking, screaming, biting and what not. In most cases the parents gave in within seconds to calm the child down and keep it quiet. NOT the way these devises should be used in my eyes.
I see the reactions first hand with my princess, first thing in the morning she asks to watch Netflix on the Ipad, then should would go on and play games on the Ipad and move on to another movie. Before you know it, 6 hours must have gone by and she never walked away from the Ipad.
She would get up sad and from a calm, fun, loving child a very mean, angry girl appeared. That was before I’ve seen the news reports, but I knew something had to change. I don’t want her to spend days on the Ipad. I get the point, she’s learning, coloring, drawing and interacting. BUT… there is a life out there as well.
I came across some amazing App’s, some are free and some have a small cost to keep track of the time your child spends on the iPad/iPhone and it will even lock the device or unlock it depending on your settings. Check out some of the App’s I found and looked into.
Game time Limit for Parents $0.99
Limit your child’s game playing time on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Essential parenting tool. It’s wise to monitor and limit the time your child spends playing games or watching video on the iDevice. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommends that parents limit screen time to no more than two hours per day. You can do just that using Game Time Limit for Parents.
Ranger Browser – Safe Internet Filter with Customizable Parental Controls ~ FREE
Ranger Browser is a fully customizable Safe Browser designed specially for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Parents are able to access the browsing history and customize the Internet filter settings from anywhere in the World. In addition, Ranger Browser allows you to limit Internet access to the times you determine. The filtering system uses a combination of blacklists, combined with customizable whitelists to create a solid, reliable filtering system that is updated hourly. Your security is enhanced as your web traffic is not re-routed through our servers in any way, ensuring your children’s data is completely secure.
AVG Family Safety ~ FREE
AVG Family Safety® is a free, secure, family-friendly Web Browser, which helps protect your children from inappropriate websites, while also keeping your whole family safe from scam, fraud, phishing and potentially malicious online content.
Kidsafe YouTube Lite – safe videos for kids with parental control ~ FREE
Educational and entertaining videos can help to keep the little wonders focused. But if you are a parent you know that leaving your child to browse the internet without any type of content filter is never a good idea. While there are a number of “child-safe” sites online, there’s always the risk that your child might stumble on something that you don’t want them to see even more so when there’s videos involved.
There are many more App’s, just put in your iTune Store search “Parental Control” and a bunch will come up. Which one you will use, is up to you; everyone has different needs and wants, but I highly recommend you use something to limit the time your little one spends on these devices.
There is so much they can do without an iPad, so grab the kids and enjoy the great outdoors after their time limit is up. With these App’s it will also be easier on parents to set limits. The kids will learn when the timer goes off my play time is up and trust me after a few days you will not have any tantrums, kicking and screaming. The kids will adjust and put up the devise on their own and move on to something else.
P.s. I was not asked to write about any of these App’s or about the safety issues; all opinions are 100% my own and may differ from yours. There may be affiliated links in this post. I’m disclosing this in accordance with the FTC guidelines.