If you have tablet computers and kids in one room, expect a tug-of-war, and the kids usually win! Seriously, at what age is it ok for kids to have their own tablet? For parents, it’s a dilemma as to when to let their kids have their own tablet and choosing the best tablet for kids. With the growing popularity of tablets, chances are, if a person in the family owns one, the other members would also want to get their hands on it. And we parents often succumbed to the charm of our kids.
Appropriate Age for Kids to Have Their Own Tablet
In an increasingly digital environment that a child is growing up today, they are exposed to various types of technology. Oftentimes they are very adept at using technology especially tablets for kids. Although there’s no conclusive study yet on the long term effects on children using tablets, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children below 2 years old should be screen-free and screen time should be limited to 2 hours per day for older kids. And it should not be passive screen time but interactive, complementing interaction with parents.
It is safe to assume that school-aged kids can make the most out of tablets for kids since aside from the usual games, videos and music, tablets are also packed with educational apps and books.
If you are worried of the potential harm in leaving your child with a tablet for kids, the risks are probably the same as when a child has access to a smartphone or internet at home. It all comes back to parental control and in choosing the device most appropriate for your child’s age. We can no longer run away from technology and the earlier we expose our children, the more adept they become in adopting new technologies as they grow old.
Best Tablet for Kids
There are already a lot of available child-specific tablets like the Nabi 2 Tablet, LeadPad 2, Meep, etc. with applications which can be used even by toddlers. The apps are as important as the hardware so their use should always be approved and monitored by the parents.
Not all tablets are right for all ages so you may find yourself buying a different tablet as your child grows old which could be quite expensive. The best tablet for kids is the one appropriate for their age, have access to great educational apps and have enough parental controls for our peace of mind.
Children are like sponges, they absorb everything they observe, even our bad habits so be a good example to your child on how you use your tablet in order to avoid its downsides. If they see us use our tablets while crossing the street then they will do the same.
If a child spends more time with their gadgets than with physical activity, they might become obese. As parents, it is always our responsibility to regulate our child’s activities so don’t let a tablet be your babysitter.
Two years may be old enough for some to let their kids have their own tablet, but then, who knows more about our kids but us? Use your better judgment and be guided by what experts tell us about children’s development and we can never go wrong. Besides, all we want is what’s best for our kids.
How about you, do you let your kid use a tablet computer? How has your kid benefit from it? Please share your experience and opinion with us.
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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