There are a lot of important things that help us raise our kids in the modern world. When asked, experts have agreed—quickly—that kids don’t need iPads or tablets in order to grow up but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their place. Kids have functioned fine without them for centuries. But what about when parents need a breather or if you have one lying around? What age should a child get an iPad?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says to wait until after 2 years old to put a tablet in their hands. PBS encourages you to wait until preschool.
Why Should Your Child Get a Tablet?
A question to ask before, “What age should a child get an ipad?” is why you want one for your child. Some parents get iPads or tablets as a way to connect with distant relatives. Others use them as a distraction for their kids so they can take a private shower or finish a complicated task without little fingers sneaking in. They can even be used to help kids with disabilities, such as dyslexia or even when they have problems communicating, such as kids who are on the autism spectrum. Zero to Three has created a flow chart to help you decide if your reasons result in the need for an iPad or tablet.
Most importantly, remember that the time spent using an iPad or tablet as a babysitter for your kid could be time spent building a meaningful connection with them.
Pros and Cons of Tablets
Now that you’ve looked at some of the reasons, and decided for yourself what’s best for you and your family, let’s look at some ways to get the best use out of tablets and iPads, as well as some of the potential dangers.
iPads and tablets have a lot of great apps and built in features to make them useful for you and your kids. Unfortunately, not all apps are created equal. Check out this link to help you in vetting yours before you download them onto your device.
iPads and tablets have built in software, or software you can download, to help monitor time and keep kids from spending too long on their device. These controls can lock the device as well as prevent them from using certain apps or features. This video can help you with the basics.
Toddlers and Tablets
Toddlers and tablets aren’t always a good mix. Drops, spills, and stomping can all ruin your investment. Keep your device alive longer with a case. Some cases protect the device from spills and others even make them easier to hold. Here are some ideas so you know your options for cases out there.
If you’re wondering when to introduce a tablet to a child, remember that with any screen time there comes a risk of a tech addiction. Monitoring screen time can help but make sure to look out for symptoms like loss of interest in other activities or signs of withdrawal. If they are showing signs, have them take a long break and detox from their device. A detox can be good for the whole family. If you’re worried about giving your child a tablet, or want a device with more parental control, look at Troomi. Troomi devices are specifically designed to help introduce kids to tech without exposing them to the dangers like tech addiction.
Tablets and iPads can be useful for keeping the kids entertained for a few minutes while showering or even for education. Make sure you supervise and are aware of how much time they use their device.