I was very tempted to get an Ipad or a Samsung Galaxy tablet when it first came out. I was pregnant then and could very much get away with anything I wish for but call it premonition, but one day I was at a restaurant and the next table was occupied with a family with two boys aged 7-10 and the incident that followed striked me. One of them was playing with a tablet device and answered rudely to his parents attempts at getting him to finish his food. He was busy playing some game. After a few minutes his brother starts grabbing the device off him to play. A loud fight broke between the two brothers and the mother was screaming for them to keep quiet. Needless to say, I feared for my unborn child’s future and promise to keep an objective mind about having Ipad and the likes. I find the above scenario was a great example that Ipad costs outweigh its benefit, especially when it comes to young children.
While I have utmost respect for tablet devices potential to be a great mindtool, to me it stays as a tool. What strikes people as a genius stimulator becomes at most a convenient tool for them to distract their kids from misbehaving in the public, or even, as a nanny to accompany the kids while they are manning other household chores. Correct me if I’m wrong, but how many of us really sit down and supervise them playing games? Maybe initially, but when the kid knows how to press ENTER on his own, then they are left alone. Many friends have told me that these expensive gadgets are now being dropped and stashed everywhere at home like really cheap toys, and their kids had become social recluse playing games without bothering to bathe, eat and sleep at the right time. I bet it’s very stressful when your family fight because of something you wish you’d never have bought in the first place.
Many have told me I should get an Ipad and expose my lil’ Aisyah to touchscreen devices. Whenever we visit relatives especially those who have Ipad my Aisyah would get excited and asked them to play for her. Yes, pity her, being deprived and all, but I pity her more if her too early ‘an exposure’ turns her unappreciative and rude. I completely salute those parents who have managed to discipline their kids on the Ipad use, but to be honest I have not found ANY. Considering that Bill Gates got his first computer at the age of 13 and managed to be the biggest software architect in the world today, I believe that everything should be appropriate in its time.
Thus a question beckons; will I buy lil’ Aisyah a computer i.e tablet etc? Yes I will. But not now. I want her to be able to enjoy our company as much and absorb her surroundings using her 5 senses. When we go out to dine I will take along an activity book for her to colour and draw on, or some of her puppets or soft toys so we can play make believe. It’s very difficult to train a child to behave at restaurants without a certain activity to distract them but each partner needs to compromise their eating time and take turns attending to their child. I cannot help but feel very disturbed when children misbehave and run around restaurants while their parents nonchalantly eats away. And Ipad won’t be a great help either if you continue to shut one eye to kids’ lack of discipline. It all boils down to giving the right attention to your child. Young parents need to learn the word “sacrifice” before they even start parenthood.
I’m not a great parent just yet, but I think being a teacher with young adults really helps unfolding what needs to be done to create a better future. 🙂 If you have an Ipad with your kids, please don’t feel offended by my post. I’m sure you have your child’s best interest at heart too. To each their own.