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jennyrae03 July 13th, 2013 01:15 PM

OT - Kids and Technology
So I'm curious how you all feel about small children and technology? Not trying to start a "hot" topic here, I just wonder if I am out of line in my thinking?

My SIL has 4 girls, ages 5, 3, and 1 (twins). The two older ones have both had their own iPods since they were each 2 years old, and currently have iPod Touches (bought new, for Christmas). My MIL mentioned to me the other day that they are getting Kindle Fires for Christmas this year. Umm...why? They are 3 and 5. For what reason do they need ANY of that? I can understand having your own iPad or Kindle Fire, and downloading apps that are child-oriented, and letting them use it for X amount of time. But really, they both need their own brand new Kindle Fires?

I'm sorry, but this whole situation seems grossly unreasonable to me, and I do not think that children that small need their own handheld media devices of any sort. I also am on the "my 10 year old doesn't need his own cell phone" bandwagon. For emergencies only, and only for times when we would be separated for whatever reason (camp, or staying with a relative, etc) - sure, that's fine. But so that my kid looks "cool?" No.

Am I completely out of line here? I know that we are in a technologically advanced world, and things like this are becoming common practice, but I just don't agree with it and will not be doing these things for my children. They can play with my iPad for X amount of time, and it will be educational tools - and then it will go back to being MY iPad.

I am just baffled by this whole thing!

MrsPea July 13th, 2013 01:26 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
I don't have my own kid yet, but I'm pretty sure nothing is "yours" anymore once you have kids. I was just reading today that if you want to eat your own meal once you have kids you should hide in the bathroom, cause kids want what you are eating/ drinking/ playing with.

Having visited friends with young children that all had their own kindle fire and NES handheld things, when one miss placed theirs sharing does not go over well, so yeah I can see why if one is getting a kindle fire the other one should get one too. Do they "need" them, probably not. Do you need them to have one for your own sanity, maybe, we'll both find out together!

Spyctre July 13th, 2013 02:57 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
3 and 5 is very young IMO to have such an EXPENSIVE "toy." I have a Nook tablet, and both my girls look at Sesame Street books on it. I'm fine with that. Would I get their own? Hell no! lol I would like to upgrade in a year or two. I'm in no rush. Then they can either have mine or mine will go to DH who has a regular Nook. They can then play with his. It's a bit different, though. They are several years old, and they will be cast-offs.

I had my own Walkman around 7 or 8. I've always loved music. I can see getting them an inexpensive mp3 player when they are a little older than 5. Maybe the boom box equivalent. Also depends on the child.

I have a friend whose family saved to buy her 10 year old grandson a 3-D gameboy. 3-DS? They saved $300 for this gift from what I gathered, and they are not a well off family. It was Christmas. That $300 piece of equipment lasted that 10 year old with anger management problems a grand total of THREE HOURS.

I know I want my kids kind of raised like me. One gadget, a Walkman. Some dolls. I didn't have a ton of toys. Just dolls. I had a bike for outside, and I had lots of neighborhood children to play with. My oldest carries around baby toys that play songs like it's a little radio. Maybe soon I can find her something child friendly to play her music. Autism, though... She'll chew headphones to bits, she'll break a boom box... It'll probably be a few years before she gets anything like that!

FishermansWife4 July 13th, 2013 03:20 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
...Seriously? Wow. Yeah, my kiddos get told not to touch my Samsung Galaxy SII for any reason. I can't imagine buying them something that expensive as a toy. Why? So they can get frustrated and destroy it? I don't let my 7 year old on her school computer unless it's for school purposes. MAYBE at 12 or 13 I can see getting them an el cheapo cell phone for emergency purposes but 3, 4 or 7? No way!! I get them toys they can use and learn from like I did. Educational devices such as a math toy computer which teaches her adding and subtracting that's $20-$40 or a school bus plastic toy that teaches phonetics and things like that. A kindle fire? An Ipad? Shoot, I don't even own one of those let alone let my child own one!

WhitneysMommy2011 July 13th, 2013 06:35 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
I do not see any reason for children that young to have their own kindle, ipad, or anything similar. That being said I do have a kindle, and I allow my two year old to use it. She like to watch nursery rhyme videos on it.

Cccbb61013 July 13th, 2013 06:42 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
I don't think I would buy my son his own tablet at his age (he's 4) because quite frankly he's addicted to my iPad. If we let him, he would stay on it for 8 hours straight, I swear. He tries to get on our iPhones when we go places, which I don't let him unless I don't want him falling asleep in the car. Unfortunately he's not doing anything educational on the iPad either. He's watching people play skylanders on YouTube. & even more unfortunately, I am too exhausted to do anything about it. No I don't let him watch it for 8 hours but today I did let him for 2 hours while I took a nap (I feel so guilty yet still can't get my butt off the couch). I can't wait for my hubby to get home from Alaska so he can play with the poor kid! Mama's kind of worthless there but I'm still good for cuddling & kisses!
But no, I don't think a kid needs their own. But I do understand not knowing what to get your kids for their birthday or holidays. We got him an Xbox 360 for his bday to keep in his own room. He may seem a little young, but he limits the time on it & he can watch movies on it before bed too so it's multi-functional! (Plus it helped him start sleeping in his own room!)

Allisonjuly July 13th, 2013 06:59 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
My 7 year old has a gameboy and that's it. He gets to play games on our cellphones or his older sibs phone once in a while.

My 3 yro has a Leapster

I made my oldest wait until 13 to get a cellphone. We ended up getting our dd one at the same time because we had to sign a new contract. She was 11. My oldest got his kindle when he was 10 but he reads a lot.

Rosiegirl7 July 13th, 2013 09:55 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
How funny me and my guy were JUST talking about this today. I think there's so much more in this world to entertain kids to help them learn that doesn't require technology. But once they are older its hard because they get so much influence from other kids on what's cool.

I just hope my boy will take to sports and other activities rather than play station. My bf is a okay station freak so I told him not in fri t of the baby!

Lemon July 14th, 2013 05:03 AM

The kids play with our iPhones and iPads. We are considering getting them Kindle Fires for Christmas. They will only be allowed to use them for a certain amount of time a day and will read and play educational games on them. My son's school has an iPad in every classroom at their school. Being a savvy on them is an asset. :)

They are both very active, play sports, etc.

anothermother July 14th, 2013 07:54 AM

When we sell the house and move to Florida we are planning to get each the girls (6 and almost 4) Kindles. The cheaper ones-- not spending over $200/each. It will be super helpful for the 18 hour drive.

Our girls are SUPER active. They play outside a ton, and in their rooms. They would rather be outside, but especially with the baby coming and those time required breast feeding sessions I'm gonna need something that will keep them out of trouble.

We've tried doing the leapster and leappad thing but the battery life on them is *horrible* and the quality isn't that good either.

It may be a little hard to understand electronics+kids when you don't have kids that age, but if you have good boundaries and rules in place it can be a great tool. My daughter's kindergarten class had 5 iPads to share, so this world is only getting more and more electronically based... But there is also still a place for exploring outside, riding bikes, and conversation... Just gotta find the balance. That's just me though.

jennyrae03 July 14th, 2013 08:10 AM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with children using technology when it is monitored and limited - I understand that this is just the type of world we live in now. I completely agree with encouraging reading and/or educational activities, and it doesn't bother me at all that some of those things will have to come from iPads or Kindles or whatever.

I just am really irked at the fact that they each need their own tablets, iPods, and whatever else at age 2 and then a new one each Christmas after that. Sorry, but if and when my child gets something like that, it will either be pre-owned, or a less expensive model, and it will be something that is very limited in our household.

Then again, SIL's children are very spoiled and therefore act as such. Obviously since this is my first child, I have no right standing on any pedestal and preaching about what I will or won't do, or what is appropriate - I just don't agree with the way she parents, I guess? I know that there are some things that will be a big lesson for me when it comes to parenting, and I will eat my words a lot of the time, but this is a big issue for me and I don't think I'm going to change my mind about this one! It's more an issue of spoiling and unnecessary extravagances, I suppose.

MrsHoot July 14th, 2013 08:12 AM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
I don't think that I would buy that young of kids Kindles (personally) BUT my 2 year old loves my iPhone and iPad and hes quite amazing on it. :) It didn't take him long to figure out how to pick out different apps and get to where he wants. He even knows how to click out of most ads! :o That said, I try to limit the amount he's on it, and they are mommy's not Sawyers. There are times he's tried to grab them out of my hands while I'm using them, and that's not okay. He has to ask and say please/thank you.

I used to be in the boat of--I will never just hand my phone over to my kid. Then I had a kid. And it does kind of come with what's mine is yours--as well as it's an easy fix if you need to get something done. He loves to watch Curious George on it and does the baby sign apps and colors. He also does a balloon pop which has helped him learn the names of different objects and colors. Obviously it's not a stand in for actual parent teaching, but he is learning from it and it is the world that he will grow up in.

DH's mom was one who made them save up for any electronic devices they wanted and pretty much banned video games from their house. It was totally counter productive-- when it came to college and he had no one to limit stuff for him he ended up failing every other semester because he skipped class and played video games.

I think limits are good, I want my kids to be social and make friends and not just be stuck inside staring to a screen all day long! Balance like anothermother said is key!

cooper1414 July 14th, 2013 09:14 AM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
My 7 year old just got his own kindle fire (bought refurbished for $130) for his birthday. Our 2 year old only has the leap pad type toys that are age appropriate. They get slammed with technology the rest of their lives so I am in no rush to start the real stuff at 2.

Laurenj915 July 14th, 2013 04:37 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology

Originally Posted by cooper1414 (Post 27518103)
They get slammed with technology the rest of their lives so I am in no rush to start the real stuff at 2.

This is how I feel. My son turned 2 last month. He has never used my phone, ipad or watched tv or a movie. I know he will watch tv and use a computer eventually. I just want to put it off as long as possible.

I am not snotty about tv, believe me, i watch Real Housewives. I just think it will make things more complicated once he starts. He will ask for junk food and toys related to tv shows and movies, i will have to monitor for content, he will want to watch more than I would like....

I don't think I will buy him an ipad or whatever else but I may be singing a different tune in a few years.

ILoveStorm2011 July 14th, 2013 06:40 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
My sister and brother have tablets (9 and 10) but they are Samsung galaxy tabs, like first generation so I know they're not expensive. They dont play outside though and I find that crazy! Especially since they have a fenced in backyard that is safer. when I was young I never got to play outside because my dad worked 12+ hours a day and had no one to watch me out there, but even I played with other toys than just electronics lol.
I see parents spoiling their kids with their own cell phones and Ds games at 3-4 and I do feel that is young. Letting them play with my tablet and phone is no problem (it's part of the reason I just got a new tablet...well not really, but I told Dh that haha) but their own? I dont see myself doing that, but I wont know until I crack and do it :)

soul_donut July 14th, 2013 07:12 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
I know what you mean. I think little ones can use cast-offs or old models but I think being aware and involved with expensive new trends is a dangerous road to travel! I told DH that his son would be after his iPad in a couple years and he is ok with this once its on the way out, since its already a few years old.

jamieshalon2 July 15th, 2013 04:22 AM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
At age 2 I don't think my kids understood how to use anything like that, lol. I did get my 5 year old his own tablet for christmas last year. It was on sale for under $100 at Kohls and with my Kohls cash I paid $40 for it, lol. He loves to play some of the game apps that are on there, plus he loves to get onto certain websites like the Nik Jr ones and stuff and play the games on there. It is really nice when we are in the car too. We have to drive 30-45 minutes to get to anything around here, and those long rides and be killer when they are bored.
My 12 year old does have a cell phone and I wouldn't have it any other way. I will not let him go home with any friends or stay after school for any reason if he does not have it on him that day. Plus we don't have a house phone anymore and I would not be very happy if his friends were calling my cell phone to talk to him.

WorkerBeeMama July 15th, 2013 01:12 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
To me a kindle is just like an ipad, and I think iPads and iPods are great for kids. There are so many educational and fun apps for kids and when they are able to read they can download books to read, etc. You can also watch TV and movies on there. I think if someone can afford it then why not. My kids are 7 and 11 and they each have an iPod and they share an iPad with me (all are heavily protected with otterboxes, lol). I have a kindle fire they cannot play with. It is mine and mine alone. The iPods I made them pay for with their own money (bought used for $100 each). The iPad was free from a friend, and I didn't even really want an iPad so I don't care what happens to it really and I never use it. The kids like it though.

My kids do not have cell phones though. My 7 year old doesn't really ever use the phone and my 11 year old calls her friends and texts them from my cell phone. We will consider getting her a phone in a year or two, but it is a going to be a cheap phone (unless she pays for it herself) and there will be a limit on the amount of calls/texts she can make.

Mountain Momma July 15th, 2013 03:52 PM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology
I am a big believer in no "screen time" (tv, computer, cell, ...) until the age of 2. Our kids will have their whole lives for such things, no need to start so young.

soul_donut July 16th, 2013 05:39 AM

Re: OT - Kids and Technology

Originally Posted by ILoveStorm2011 (Post 27518826)
My sister and brother have tablets (9 and 10) but they are Samsung galaxy tabs, like first generation so I know they're not expensive. They dont play outside though and I find that crazy!

No outside time (when it's really easily available)? I think that is totally nuts. I'm not sure outside time was negotiable in my house. Go outside. Be back before it gets dark. I had a Nintendo and I read a ton inside, but when it was daylight, my butt was outside at the park, pool, creek, on a bike, rollerskates, you name it. If my kid wants to play on the ipad and not go outside he will not be allowed to use the ipad.

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