Friday, 20 September 2013

Guest Post - Do young children need gadgets?

A few weeks ago I hosted my first 'guest blog' from a blogger I really like and respect - since then I have been approached by quite a few and have decided that ocassionally it is good to have another person's opinion about things I write about and love. Colette from We're Going on an Adventure offered to pop over and talk about her view on gadgets and little ones. Her children are 4 and 2 and Colette and her husband have a clear view point on 'gadgets and children'. Have a read and let me know below your thoughts :-
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Photo Credit - Flickr
My husband is not ashamed to admit that he’s more than a bit of a geek – he just loves technology and spends considerable amounts of his leisure time reading blogs, forums and new stories to feed his passion.  He gets really excited talking about phones, tvs, audio bits and bobs – mostly things he’s unlikely to ever own but he just finds the developments and new releases so interesting.  Mostly I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about but he does have his uses when friends and family are planning on investing in a new gadget!
I like a bit of tech, I like things that are going to make my life easier and couldn’t live without my smartphone and laptop but I’m not so bothered about them being the absolute latest or them having the biggest screen, fastest processor – I just want it to do the job I need for minimum effort on my part.
Photo Credit: Flickr

I’m not sure we ever really discussed the impact of technology on gadgets on our young children’s lives but we are very much of the same opinion (thankfully!)   From the outset we have never really given our children our phones to play with – they are not toys, they are expensive pieces of equipment and frankly my phone is my phone, I don’t want to share it, risk it being broken or not be able to use it when I choose to!  Dave of course has the same attitude, if anything he is probably even more protective of his phone than I am.
When Ben was really quite small (and I’m talking probably a year to 18 months old) we went to visit friends who were telling us how great some game was on their console and how Ben would love it – I remember we just looked at each other but said nothing.  In the car on the way home we discussed the fact that actually we didn’t really want Ben introduced to computer games at such a young age – we wanted to develop his imagination, his ability to entertain himself and foster a love of books and generally have the chance to be little.  I’m proud to say that, thus far, we have been entirely successful in this mission!  Neither child shows much interest in our phones or Dave’s tablet and Ben will only very occasionally ask if he can play a game on my laptop – this is limited to age appropriate games on the Cbeebies website which I can see have some value (for example developing his mouse control or key board skills).
We are not naive, we know the time will come when Ben and Chloe are probably just as addicted to their games or gadgets as we are – this is just modern life!  And I’m certainly not denying that they have their places, I am quite sure at some point in the next few years Ben will want a handheld games console which could well be worth its weight in gold for long car journeys.   We have discussed that at some point when Dave upgrades his tablet we will keep the old one and load it with appropriate apps for the children to use.  I’m not trying to make them into little technological dinosaurs, just delay the reliance as long as I can!
I’d be really interested to know what gadgets your children use and what you think of our decisions!  (I must admit Ben’s teacher did look at me like I was a bit crazy when I said he wasn’t really allowed to use the computer at home!)

4 comments:

  1. My eldest three kids who are 3, 5 and 7 all use my iPad but they do this under adult supervision and we generally only play games that will help them learn things x

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  2. I don't let my children use my phone either. They have a games console (they are 7 and 5) but it is used sparingly, under adult supervision. To be honest, they would much rather be outside playing!

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  3. Emmy loves to play her games on my phone and watch skygo on it

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  4. To be honest, we had the same opinions to begin with (my husband more so), but as our eldest started Preschool, we learned he would be using a laptop there for educational games once in a while and would be going to the local infants school (which he now attends) to use their ITC suite. He does have a Preschool games tablet (which he rarely uses and does use our iPad occasionally under supervision and in timed circumstances. He also has a Wii Mini but that hasn't been used recently. We are now of the opinion that a little use is OK under our watchful eye and preferable to him going to friends houses as he gets older and using consoles and games we have no say over! As you say it's a part of modern day living now. That said, he prefers to do sports and play outside.

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I'd love to hear what you think about this post!! Thank you for taking the time to comment!