When Should You Let Your Child Play with a Smartphone or Tablet?

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Category: Parenting Tips

More and more parents are allowing their children to handle smartphones or tablets as a miniature video player and a portable gaming device. Buying a colourful toy won’t be enough to keep your child busy. Digital entertainment is playing a much more significant role in toddlers’ lives now; more than ever. Once children are already capable of holding objects on their own, they’re pretty much capable of manoeuvring through the Internet all by themselves. Whether or not you’re a fan of the recent trends of allowing younger children to handle smartphones, there has been much criticism on the validity of allowing your child to spend more time using a tablet instead of interacting in real life.


Parental supervision

The trouble that most parents have with their children and tablets is that they often get hooked on using the device for watching shows and playing games. What they fail to realise is that the blame is not on the platform, but on parental supervision. As with any activity, moderation is key to making sure that nothing is too little or too much. Treating a tablet just as you would a regular toy by limiting play time wouldn’t be that difficult to manage. Tablets are not magical devices that lure your kids into addiction; it’s just another plaything in your kids’ eyes. Managing tablet usage just as you previously would in watching the TV or playing outside is key to balancing your child’s development.

Consider waiting until preschool before you let them use a smart device

Even if a toddler can handle a tablet, it doesn’t mean that they can already operate a computer. The most advisable time for allowing your kid to use tablets and smartphones is after preschool age. The formative years of a child from one to two years old are integral to their growth as an individual. It is best for them to play with character toys and educational games like those from Pound Shop. Spending more time with a gadget instead of building practical skills such as reading, writing, and exploring, could make your child lag during school.

However, once they reach the age of three, children are more attracted to using electronic media by learning on their own. Mobile app designers make sure that their platform is used to enhance and develop the learning process by using child voices for characters, colourful visuals, and clear indicators for rewards during successful user inputs.


Embracing innovation

Because of the growing concerns about the effects of mobile devices on children, some parents have developed a phobia of allowing their children to use these gadgets. What these parents fail to realise is that tablets are an innovation in teaching technology. Numerous app developers dedicate their craft to making games and apps that can help in the learning process. Apps can be used to teach number conversion, colour patterns, word structures and many more. Parents who make use of these apps with their children can help teach valuable and formative lessons to their child outside the four walls of the classroom.

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