Will the use of tablets hamper creativity for kids? This is a question that most parents who plans on buying a tablet for kids would ask themselves. We all want our kids to be creative and innovative and somehow we think that a tablet can be a very good tool for this purpose. However, some parents are concerned that the opposite may be true.
What experts say about development for kids
Experts tell us that children grow socially and emotionally by interacting with people and by learning from their experiences. Children need to play outdoors with other children and with materials such as blocks and clay which will encourage creativity for kids. They need to engage all their senses to maximize learning. It is when playing that children builds the foundation for problem solving, critical thinking and other skills that will help them deal with the real world when they become adults. The amount of time that children spends on electronic gadgets are the amount of time that is taken away from active play
How much time should kids spend with tablets?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children 2 years and below should be screen-free and that includes not only tablets but television, computers, and video games. The AAP further recommends that older kids and teens should only have no more than 2 hours per day of high quality screen time.
Experts say that if not monitored by parents, children can develop unpleasant behaviors from too much exposure to TV, video games, computer, and other media. Children may become sedentary leading to obesity. They can develop attention problems and may find it difficult to interact with other people.
I agree with no screen time for children under 2 years old although this is really difficult. For older kids, close monitoring of their screen time and what they watch should be done so they would know their limits. This can work both ways as parents may also depend too much on electronic gadgets to babysit their kids. Parents should be good examples to children so we should also use our mobile devices more responsibly.
Will tablets hamper creativity for kids?
Not necessarily. The outcome of our kids’ use of tablets will depend largely on us parents and on how we let our kids use tablets. Again, the key is parental control. Although there’s no conclusive study yet on the effects of using tablets for kids, we can take our cue from what we know on child development. Children need active play to develop their imagination and creativity especially at age below 2 years old. If we let our kids use tablets without monitoring them, surely, the tablet will mostly be used on games. Following the recommendations of AAP may be hard sometimes but we have to realize that our decision will have a great impact on our child’s development.
A tablet is a technology that is here to stay and we are bound to see more of it in the market in the coming years. Denying our children access to this device can also be counter productive especially for school-age children. But as parents we should use it as a learning tool and not a babysitter. There’s a wealth of creativity and educational apps for kids that we can download for free or for a minimal fee which can enhance their learning.
As parents, it is critical for us to find the balance between physical play and screen time for our kids. Experts also advice that parents should avoid passive screen time and be involved with the kids when they use electronic media to make the experience more meaningful.
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