Can Giving Gadgets To Children Ever Be “Good”?

29th March 2019
Sat on the bed watching a tablet

I have been thinking about writing this post for some time, but I never really knew how to put my thoughts on paper as such. It is such a debated topic that everyone no matter what their age, has an opinion on.

If you are a regular to either here or my social media channels, you will know that I allow Shaniah to use gadgets and she loves using them, but I limit her usage and she is absolutely fine with that. We don’t have tantrums when I tell her her time is up and she is in no way addicted to them.

I grew up without technology, in fact we only got a computer in our home when I was 13 and only then was I allowed to use it for homework purposes until eventually being allowed to chat to my friends via MSN. It didn’t make me lazy I still took up every opportunity to play outside with my friends, it was just something that we could use to keep in contact with each other when the weather wasn’t that great.

Getting back to Shaniah and her generation, I do feel that it is different for them, they are growing up in a technology advanced world where electronics and the internet are a somewhat focus within their learning. Now, many people may read that line and think that I have absolutely lost it, however, in my opinion I truly believe that this is the case.

Playing an educational game whilst led on the bed.

It seems mad that children are using electronics from such a young age but I really do feel that we feel that way due to ourselves not growing up with it. It is a bit like the automatic braking system installed in newer cars, it sounds great but will we put 100% of our trust in it? of course not, because we are used to the times where braking was fully in our control.

Truth is though, the world is changing, advancing even and for that to happen technology is beginning to play a bigger part – the world is starting to become a high-tech one and honestly there is nothing majorly wrong with that.

Schools are starting to change the way that they teach. Instead of being primarily text book learning schools are starting to bring out laptops for the children to research on and sure, to us, the text book generation that seems quite alien, I mean we sat down and flicked through books and we turned out just fine, why could they possibly want change things?

Shaniah’s school is infact an Apple Distinguished School which amongst other things means that they use Apple products to inspire student creativity. They are one of just 30 schools within the UK to receive this incredible accolade. Shaniah often receives homework which needs to be done on the laptop such as creating a PowerPoint presentation about celebrations or her favourite famous person. Both of which she found super fun to do whilst also learning. The school also has a range of ipads, ipads and laptops all essential and there to help boost and develop technological proficiency for future jobs, because lets face it, our children will be working with a whole range of technology I mean we are already starting to rely on technology more and more for every job.

Let’s look at the pros of giving gadgets.

Yes, there really are some.
Parent’s can get some peace and quiet.
Admit it, we have all been there, done that and worn the t-shirt. You are on a long car journey or sat having a catch up with family and friends yet the toys that your child has loved for so long and has always been entertained by suddenly just isn’t doing it for them anymore, there are screams or boredom, seat kicking (the worst) and enough tears to end a drought, what do you do? Of course you offer them your phone or the Ipad after all hearing “Baby Shark” for the millionth time somewhat beats the ear piercing screech of a child that just wants to be entertained.

watching a video on the tablet

Contrary to popular belief, it helps brain development and increases learning.
Sure we all sit down with our children and teach them numbers, letters and the works, Shaniah is loving the Letts revision books but she also loves a wide range of applications available at a touch of a button. Shaniah is currently loving “Lola’s Math Train” which is an app for the Nintendo 3DS. It is designed to introduce them into the world of Math and then broaden their knowledge. It works because we along with her teacher have noticed how well she is getting on with numbers, she is even able to complete simple equations which is pretty good going.

As with everything, with pros comes cons, so what are they?

Substituting people with gadgets.
Sure technology is great but spend too much time (hours upon hours a day) on video games and the likes and it will be likely that the child ends up robbed from their play time with friends and even time with parents.

Bullying.
There is no doubt that parent’s should supervise their children while they use electonics, however as they grow older they tend to want privacy too. Despite this, it is important to be aware of their online activities. It is far too easy for a child to be bullied online, in fact, alomst 43% of children are bullied online and of that 43% 1 in 4 experienced it more that once.

Sure technology has it’s good and its bad but in the grand scheme of things I do strongly feel that they can do good however, like all things in life there needs to be moderation. Encourage breaks from the gadget and encourage family time. At the end of the day the world is changing into a tech-savvy one and that isn’t such a bad thing.




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