If your kids are older than four and they haven’t been pestering you for a tablet, consider yourself fortunate. Once most kids see a friend or a cousin with a device, and all the worlds it opens up, they usually start hounding their parents for a device of their own.
There are some significant pros and cons to this type of handheld technology. On the pro side, a tablet can open up tons of educational opportunities and introduce your kids to technology that they will most likely be using in school later on.
On the con side, any type of device is likely to siphon time away from other activities, could become highly addictive, and technology can open up scary worlds to a child, if given unfettered access.
So, as a parent, what should you do? Below are some things to consider before investing in a tablet for your child.
Is Your Child Responsible?
Owning a tablet is a responsibility. You will obviously maintain firm control over the device, but your young child will handle it often and have it in their possession. If you fear that they cannot be trusted to protect a device like a tablet, then you might want to hold off on purchasing one.
Can Your Child Deal With Limits?
Does your young child lose their mind whenever you tell them it’s time to turn off the television or stop playing a game? If so, getting them to relinquish a tablet might be more than you bargained for.
Is Your Child Active?
If your child is healthy and involved in activities, then a tablet might be okay because it likely won’t curtail their active lifestyle. Otherwise, a tablet might simply soak up the hours after school and prevent them from playing with friends, etc.
Does Your Child Embrace Technology?
If your child is interested in technology and wants to learn more about it, a tablet might be a good way to introduce them to it and give them some room for trial and error.
There are a host of other issues that you should think about before handing a tablet to your young child. Before you give it to them, make sure that you are familiar with it and know how it works. It’s critical for you to understand how to navigate around the device, how to set it up for a child, and how to set limits.
You will absolutely want to spend significant time combing through the parental controls. They establish curfews, determine which apps your child can use and set ground rules for purchases.
It’s important that you know which apps are on the device and investigate each app before downloading it. If you are going to allow your child to play a game or tool around an app without your constant supervision, you need to research the app or game and know what it entails.