Ever since I choose to write on this topic, I have one consistent reader and that is my son. Other than reading, I also discuss with him what the next letter should be.
“I” was a confusion. I thought it could be Independence, a sort of eye opener on helicopter parenting, which our generation has become used to. My son being the genx kid, suggested “Innovation”.. can’t blame him that’s what they get to hear every day in school, “Be Innovative” “Think out of the box.”
As I was just building up ideas in my mind.. the word Flashed, I Pad.
Thanks to Apple, these days kids are hooked to IPads as early as 6 months to 1 year. Luckily, we didn’t have an IPad till he was 4 years old and that too be would be in lock and key. Anyway, he grew admist many kids around and always had someone to play with. He had got hooked to cartoons at around 4, but it was never a problem.
Once we reached the Modern Dubai, and my child reached Grade 3, I pad became mandatory as they had online tests, quizlets etc. A personal IPad became mandatory. So the much prized mummy’s IPad became his. Ah, my music list started having more English music. I am hard core Desi, and this annoyed me a lot. Slowly the peer pressure started building and games started getting downloaded. However, the IPad still had my Apple ID and everything he would download would appear on my IPhone.
With some hit and trial, we continued to keep a balance, allowing him some game time, one game app. However, the IPad would still be “Ruchi’s IPad” under devices and this was a bone of contention. And meddling of my music list was too much for me.
Then was formed, A child account and Ruchi’s IPad officially became Gunjit IPad. The wicked mummy in me, restricted all free purchases as well, and every download required, “Ask Parent”
I discovered Our Pact app and I was all beaming with smiles. I could vanish all games and YouTube from his screen whenever I liked. Once he reached school and his IPad was blocked, hence I was nicknamed the “Master Hacker” by his close friends.
He is too fond of football, and constantly tries to sneak a peek at the score of his favourite teams or football strategies he can use by watching recorded games. I get annoyed and try to divert. He loves reading just like me so at times I am successful and at others he has his way. The tussle still continues but what do you think? Should a child be allowed IPad?
Smaller kids like the bottle fed babies, a strict no except for occasional video once in a while. It breaks my heart everytime I see those kids in prams with an IPad in the hand.
Older children, once they are around 6/7, a limited access not more than half an hour at any point of time and not more than 2 hours in a day. And not to mention, under strict supervision.
Of course, they are a great help in studies. These days there are great you tube videos on almost everything right from nursery rhymes to phonic sounds, complex mathematical and science concepts. Name a thing and you have a resource.
The downside are the addictive games, and the social media chat rooms, associated with each game where your kid can be harassed. Every year we hear of those stupid Fire Fairy, Blue whale challenge, Cutting Challenge or like which can be so consuming and threatening for the child. So obviously a child needs to be constantly monitored for content. Here again, comes the parent child equation. If you have that close relation, a child will always confide in you.
Obviously, too much IPad is bad for the eyes, and of course, the mental health too. Infact Digital addiction has recently been included as a Mental Health Disorder by WHO.
I’ll quote one line by the Principal of my Kid’s school. One grand parent asked her, ” What to do my grandson is constantly on his IPad? How do we control him? Our kids we could threaten and discipline. Don’t know how to deal with this generation.
Her reply left me speechless.
“Don’t discipline them. Just keep them engaged.”
A few tips which I found useful
1. A app for controlling the device.
2. No device rule esp during family time.
3. Inculcate new hobbies and keep trying.
I am participating in A to Z Blogging Challenge this April and this post is my entry for letter I.