Just a 2 year old and a tablet

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Welcome to our guest blogger Cliff…….

Yes my two year old granddaughter has a tablet and she knows how to use it fairly well too.

I’m tired of hearing about the evils of electronic devices and how they are bad for children, especially at a young age. Hailey still loves to color and draw and do a myriad of other things that two year olds love to do and have been doing since time began.

We still take walks and play outside. We talk and listen to music, not always on her tablet or my PC. We even get to wrestle and play together very often, she knows how to hurt her grandfather very well thank you, but she also loves to watch her minion movies and some Spongebob Squarepants as well.

My wife, son and I pitched in to buy it for her for her last birthday and we all thought it would be a great tool for her to learn and grow with. She has quickly mastered the matching games and likes to imitate the animal noises as well.

Those of you who have any doubt as to whether or not this is a good thing should see her little fingers fly on that thing when she is in the mood to play Fruit Ninja. Her hand eye coordination is outstanding for her age.

When I tell some new parents and grandparents about her technology acumen some of the looks of horror that I get are enough to make me feel like I stepped on a child’s toes just to hear them scream. I hear constantly how they would never let their children play with something that turns them into zombies and then they start talking about how they only let their kids watch thirty minutes of television a  day or some such drivel.

Look I would not let her sit forever in front of the boob tube but when she sits for say ten or fifteen minutes and watches something that entertains her and obviously makes her happy and sharpens her acuity who am I to say no? And she usually sits with an adult to watch with her as well.

Exposure to technology early in a child’s development can help them later when they have no choice but to use computers or tablets or any technology. My three children were raised around computers from their infant years on up. I have had some form or computer within their reach and mostly available since my oldest was four and youngest was not in existance. As a result they have grown up knowing and using technology as a tool to better their lives. They may not be fluent in programming or even building a PC but they run circles around most people when they need information or they are looking for a job or place to live.

Some forty year olds I know personally don’t even know how to turn on a PC let alone what the difference is between Android and Windows. The idea is to show a toddler how to use a device and not to abuse it. The critics of television in the seventies were the same way, limit exposure and censor what they watch. Censor, yes. Limit? I’m not so sure. If you, yes you, put your child in front of the device or TV and tell them to do that until you decide to interact with them then you are creating the problem.

Kids crave attention and interaction with other people. If you teach them to supplement that need with technology or television then that becomes the norm.

So stop blaming the tech and start paying attention to your kids and/or grandkids. Be there for them mentally as well as physically. You be the reason they put the tablet or phone down and start to play and learn.

– Cliff

Cliff is a father of three and grandfather of one. Conservative libertarian and all around nice guy, most of the time. 🙂

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