Parents, let us correct the misconception that gadget time is bad for our kids. Studies have shown that it is not bad to hand over the tablet or iPad to our kiddos as long as we are there to guide them in what they watch, play, or download. As a mom, I must admit that I used to be very restrictive when it came to screen time for my firstborn. Following the recommendations of experts, I did not allow him to watch shows on the television, tablet, or smartphone in the first year of his life.
That was why we had a generic theme for his first birthday celebration because he did not know any cartoon characters yet back then. I was resolved to expose him to books (we had a dedicated time for reading) and other educational toys. And I was confident and satisfied with their benefits so I was decided to continue the no screen time policy going forward. But what I did not know was that my husband and my sisters would let my son watch videos on their tablets or smartphones whenever I was not around. That was why I was wondering how he came to know about Chu Chu TV, Ryan’s Toy Review, and a lot of other kiddie videos. My son is kind of advanced for his age so even at just 12 months, he would tell me about these videos and all the stuff he learned while watching them. He quickly learned about shapes, colors, and numbers from those sneaked in screen time. That was when I realized that I shouldn’t be too restrictive with the use of television, tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Of course, I still limit the time that he can watch these videos. I allow him to have supervised screen time because I can see that it helps a lot in his development. The operative word here is supervised. I make sure that I or his father is there while he watches videos or plays apps on his tablet.
I monitor the apps installed on his tablet and make sure that they are age-appropriate and educational for children. I researched recommended apps, such as Pop Iris, that would help enhance his knowledge and skills. I make sure that screen time is productive and it is still interactive as we, parents, still have to continue communicating and working with our children while they are using their gadgets. That is how we maximize the technology that is available to us.