iPad Usage and Kids. How Much is Too Much?

Oh my goodness! My daughter has the craziest melt downs sometimes and they usually have to do with her iPad. I mean, technology is great, right guys? We have information at our fingertips. Whenever we don’t know the answer to something, we “google” it. We easily and conveniently just search it on our smart phones.

When we forget the name of that particular actor in a certain movie we, “google” it.

When we want to know how to make that favourite dish that we are craving we, “google” it.

When you want to listen to your favourite old school song from Blackstreet or Monica, we quickly “You Tube” it.

We live in an amazing time where technology is just making our lives easier. Like I don’t know how people lived without GPS? I use it almost everyday for work! It’s just awesome!

But of course, there’s a downside!

My kid recently had a melt down when her iPad said low battery and she didn't have her charger. She seemed like she was going to die if she didn't have her charger! i just wanted to take away the iPads completely after that episode. Do I let my kids play on their iPads for too long? How much is too much?

My kids are basically connected to their iPads! Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple and my MacBook Air, it’s just fantastic. But my kids have come to the point where they are so reliant on it that they couldn’t live without them. My daughter is just hooked on watching YouTube videos about Mine Craft. She’s up late at night watching these Mine Craft videos that make her really emotional. But anyways, let me tell you about what happens when my daughter’s iPad says low battery.

So one day, I drop off my 4 year old at my mom’s house so I can go to a doctor’s appointment. After my appointment I go back home because I need to pick up my eldest daughter from school before I pick up my other kids. Next thing you know I get a frantic call from my mom. She’s like, “you have to talk to your daughter, she’s crying about her iPad. How come you didn’t bring the charger?”

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She then passes the phone to my 4 year old who was just freaking out. She’s like, “Mom! You have to come RIGHT NOW! My iPad is low battery! Bring the charger!” I said, “After I pick up your sister from school, I will go there right away and bring the charger.

She says, “No! You have to come right away!” At this point she was screaming and in tears urging me to come right away. My mom was pretty flustered as she’s tried everything to calm her down and nothing seems to work.

My daughter continued to plead with me. I then made her think that I would come right away but I knew I had to pick up my eldest daughter from school. There was no way I was going to drive 15 minutes away and then drive 15 minutes back to pick up my daughter from school and then drive 15 minutes again to my moms. It just didn’t make sense. (Luckily grandma’s house wasn’t too far away.)

I reassured my 4 year old, “look, I’m going to bring the charger over as soon as I can. ” But she continued crying and pleading. I said, “are you going to die if I don’t bring the charger right away?” She said, “Yes!” OMG. I couldn’t believe how crazy she was getting over this stupid charger. The reason why I didn’t bring it was because, it was fully charged and I was only going to be away for a few hours!

This moment made me want to just take away the iPads completely. When I was a kid, we didn’t have mobile devices to keep us entertained. I played with my toys, I coloured, I went outside and played. But with my kids, they’re always just playing on their iPads watching who knows what. I can’t always supervise what they watch. I used to tell them they could only watch Kids Netflix. Maybe I’m just too lenient as a parent? My brother and sister in law only let their kids play on their iPads on the weekends, but my hubby has nothing against them.

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It makes me wonder, how much is too much? Are my kids spending way too much time on their iPads? Is it bad for them? Are they missing out on other things they could be doing that could be better for them?

They could be playing games. They could be doing art projects. They could be playing pretend instead. They could be more physically active. There’s a number of things they could be doing rather than playing on their mobile devices.

When I talk about this issue with my hubby, he believes it’s good for them. Here are his reasons:

  • It teaches them how to be efficient with a user interface.
  • It teaches them how to multi-task.
  • When gaming it teaches them team work.
  • It teaches them what’s new and trending.
  • They learn critical thinking skills.
  • They learn typing skills.
  • They learn how to communicate with people in a virtual environment.
  • It teaches them problem solving.
  • It also teaches them hand eye coordination.

My hubby had way more reasons but far more than I could type. He’s an avid gamer and a techy and loves computers.

So when I look at it from his point of view, I could agree with those things.

An article I found on the Huffington Post, begs to differ. Here are their top 10 reasons why kids under the age of 12 should be banned from mobile devices.

  1. It hinders early brain development due to lack of environmental stimuli.
  2. Technology use restricts movement which can lead to delayed development.
  3. Technology use correlates with increased obesity.
  4. Increased technology use leads to sleep deprivation.
  5. Technology overuse can lead to mental health problems like depression or anxiety disorders.
  6. Violent media content can lead to increased aggression in children.
  7. High speed media content can lead to decreased concentration and memory.
  8. Children can attach to devices which can lead to addiction.
  9. The World Health Organization states that cell phones and other mobile devices emit radiation.
  10. The ways children are raised and education with technology are unsustainable.
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I’m pretty scared after reading those reasons. There is also truth behind these 10 points but I think the key to this again is balance. There needs to be balance in everything we do. Yes, there are many benefits to having technology but everything should be in moderation. I want my kids to be well balanced too and so I’m going to try and limit their iPad usage to 1-2 hours per day. It won’t be easy but I really feel it would be a positive thing for them.

Do you set limits on your child’s technology use? Let me know what you think!




2 thoughts on “iPad Usage and Kids. How Much is Too Much?

  1. As with everything in life, balance is needed. I also believe that kids need to understand that they cannot have everything they want, whenever they want it. Having a meltdown about the ipad battery is just as bad as a meltdown in Walmart because they need a new toy. As a physician, I see these child meltdowns that parents are powerless to control. I have a hard time examining the kids. I love electronics but I absolutely think that every time a child has an electronic meltdown, they need the device taken away until they earn it back. We are raising a culture of I NEED IT NOW children. Yes we need electronics but we also need to learn that waiting your turn is required. I wrote an entire post about Electronic Device Etiquette. This may help achieve the balance!

    1. Yes, you’re right. Kids need to have consequences for their actions. After writing this post I’m more cognizant of their iPad use and instead I encourage them to do other activities they also enjoy. I also think it’s important for us to speak to our kids about it so they understand why they should limit their use. Thanks so much for your comment and I will read your post!

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