IPads and Two Year Olds - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I are having a disagreement over whether or not our two year old DD needs an IPad. Apparently she played with an IPad at the dentist office today and my husband was so impressed by how well she was doing on an alphabet app that he told me that she needs an IPad to start working on academics like reading. I told him that I didn't think that she needed an IPad and that would go to the bottom of my priority list. We have $10,000 worth of things that need to be paid (medical bills, student loans, attorney fees and so on) and we have been living hand to mouth, sometimes not even knowing how we are going to buy food. DH got mad at me and told me that DD wasn't on the bottom of his list (I felt like he was implying that I was being a crappy parent by putting this "need" at the bottom of my list). He said that he would start picking up extra shifts at work so he buy her the technology she needs. A little back ground info - I work full time and he occasionally picks up shifts as a paramedic. In my opinion if he is picking up extra shifts that money needs to go to the already existing list of expenses BUT money aside even if I had all the money in the world I just don't think that a two year old needs an IPad. When I told him this he started saying Bill Gates had access to a computer when he was young and look where he got. Oh Ok so all kids with IPads are going to be successful and other kids aren't, I am just a horrible parent who is stunting my DD's potential -  yeah, I am being dramatic but that annoys me. Call me old fashioned but I think two year olds need to play with non-electronic toys, play outside, play with other kids, and to have books read to them by a human being. I'm not saying that an IPad has no value to a two year old. I just don't think it's a need or necessary. Are there any studies that look at child development and IPads? I know there are a lot about TV but I am wondering specifically about IPads/tablets. 


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#2 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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Good lord, no!  A 2 year old doesn't need an iPad.  And it's not just that she can get by without it; it's actually better for her not to have one.  If all she does on the iPad is use educational apps, it's a huge waste of money.  There are plenty of much more cost effective ways to teach her academic skills. (Like alphabet fridge magnets, or alphabet blocks, or just pointing out letters in books and on signs.)  And if she does other stuff on the iPad, like play games or watch videos, that may well be more harmful than helpful.  My feeling is that kids need to develop a wide range of interests and the habit of using their imagination and creativity before they are allowed to develop the habit of using screen time for entertainment.  Limited screen time (maybe a couple of hours a week) probably wouldn't do any harm, but I don't see any particular benefit in it, either.  If your husband wants to make your daughter's needs a priority, it would make more sense for him to spend time interacting with her instead of picking up extra shifts at work.  Time spent playing in a park, being read to, or having a conversation with a parent is worth much more than having the opportunity to use educational apps on an iPad.

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#3 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 12:44 PM
 
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I do everything I can to avoid my son using my iPad. I feel badly enough when he views a video on it. He will soon be four but he needs to be doing other things for now, there will be plenty of time later on for electronics. I agree with you whole heartedly. In fact I recall my son crying at the peds office one day, i think a two year visit, and my husband whipped out his iPhone to placate him, sweet but I was mortified, especially when the pediatrician walked in. He just did not look pleased......and I can understand why.
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#4 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Ladies! I really felt like he was acting as if I was a bad mom who was intentionally stunting DD's growth by not wanting to get her an IPad (no one in my house has an IPad and she has 4 older siblings). She has access to a computer at home and she does like to do some of the free online learning games. When it's time to turn it off she has a fit so if she had her own IPad, oh the tantrums! We have tons of puzzles, magnets and other academic skills type toys. A friend of mine who is a speech language pathologist doesn't think kids should even focus on academics at this age, yes they will pick them up, but learning social skills and developing expressive/receptive language is far more important. DD goes to a 2 day a week preschool and loves it. I really feel like she would benefit more from that person to person and not person to electronic interaction. Now how to convince him that she doesn't need it and that she will not suffer because she doesn't have one!


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#5 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 06:59 PM
 
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She absolutely doesn't need it! We have one (it was DH's before he got a new tablet) and she gets to use it occasionally but I try to limit it as much as I can.

 

As to the whole Bill Gates thing, well, my DH and I are both in the same field (software development, although currently I SAH with DD) and he has had a computer since he was little while I never did until my last year of high school. So lack of access to technology is not going to stunt her natural talents.

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#6 of 21 Old 09-11-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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Not only does she not need it, it puts out more radiation than a cell phone and might actually be bad for her! I sold my ipad a couple of months ago because I didn't like what it was doing to my attention span- can't even imagine what it would do to a toddler's development if he/she were allowed frequent play time on one.
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#7 of 21 Old 09-12-2013, 07:43 AM
 
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Pattimomma - must be the field they are in, bc my DH is a Firefighter and he thinks the same way.  I've often argued with him over the difference between NEED and WANT, lol.  A friend of ours with 4 kids (12, 10, 6, 3) got her oldest an iphone when he turned 11, the middle two got kindles for xmas 2 years ago, and the youngest just got a kindle this past year.  They don't read on them - just play games.  She made the comment that she was going to buy our DD an ipad for xmas this year and I was like "yah no".  I don't even have an internet capable phone no way in hell does my not yet 2yo need an ipad.  She has occasionally watched youtube videos of planes and trains on DH's phone and tries to get in on his candy crush obsession but I pull her away.  She loves outdoors, loves playing with puzzles and has an amazing imagination and I'd hate to lose that over a screen.  DH had waaaaay too much screen time as a kid, multiple gaming systems and a huge temper.  So once a month he'd pitch a fit, IL's would take it away for a day, then give it right back.  Or on the numerous occasions he broke a gaming system they'd go a whopping week without, his behavior would improve (omg he had to go outside!!) they'd buy another one and the cycle began all over.

 

I mean really, how do people who are obsessed with all this technology think people learned anything pre computers?!  I agree with your friend that social skills are far more important because they ultimately make learning easier on them in the long run.  I also have a speechie friend and her emphasis with her kiddos is always play based learning - as it should be.  Kids need to be kids, not mini adults.

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#8 of 21 Old 09-12-2013, 11:20 AM
 
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Just another voice chiming in to validate your opinion. No need to rush electronics IMO. For what it's worth, I'm a teacher, but I don't push early academics either. The best thing you can do IMO is read, read, read! Then spend more time outdoors...
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#9 of 21 Old 09-18-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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Man, I hate this conversation. It happens in my work place all around me (I work in tech). NO, your child definitely does NOT need an iPad or ANY screen time. There are research studies that early screen time actually can harm the developing brain. I will link them here when I have time to find them. I think those might be more convincing to your DH than anything we say in a forum.

I can't imagine many other activities better for a 2 year old then sitting on your lap reading with you (or DH) or playing outside.

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#10 of 21 Old 09-18-2013, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by neonalee View Post

Man, I hate this conversation. It happens in my work place all around me (I work in tech). NO, your child definitely does NOT need an iPad or ANY screen time. There are research studies that early screen time actually can harm the developing brain. I will link them here when I have time to find them. I think those might be more convincing to your DH than anything we say in a forum.

I can't imagine many other activities better for a 2 year old then sitting on your lap reading with you (or DH) or playing outside.

Please do link the studies, especially if they are peer reviewed! I haven't even mentioned to my DH that I posted this. I really appreciate all the support! Thanks everyone! 


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#12 of 21 Old 09-19-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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Thanks Asiago! This is the resource I was thinking of when I posted yesterday (my #1 favorite parenting resource, she's made me such a better parent):

http://www.ahaparenting.com/ages-stages/toddlers/toddler-preschooler-tv-computer which will also direct you to this doctor: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/medical-staff/Dimitri-A-Christakis/

She also directed me to AAP which Asiago referenced above, and this site: http://babyunplugged.com/tag/screen-time/

I hope these help too! These kids are going to have computer access all their lives. Delaying it a couple years is not going to harm them and might just help in ways we don't even realize are connected. And why do we suddenly think a computer is necessary to learn basic academics? I suggest looking into Montessori. It can be done at home easily and is much better for a developing brain then an app on an iPad.

Good luck!

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#13 of 21 Old 09-19-2013, 09:32 AM
 
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2-year-olds absolutely don't need iPads. They're just a toy at that age more than an educational tool, and that might be true for any age, and anyway hands-on stuff is better for learning. He's responding to marketing, which is understandable but it's best to avoid responding to marketing like that.
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#14 of 21 Old 09-19-2013, 09:51 AM
 
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This is a matter of opinion here, but I feel that 2 year olds also don't need to learn academics yet, and in fact that is not good for them. Childhood, especially early childhood, should be about playing. They learn through playing. They will spend most of their late childhood, adolescence and young adulthood in classrooms learning. Why add more time to that, which is robbed from their childhood?

 

Not to mention all the already said issues around iPad use. We let our 3 year old play on it some, but only coloring and Toca Train, and some pre-selected videos. Nothing "academic". I don't feel a little screen time is so bad. All those studies are referring to kids who sit for 1, 2 or more hours per day in front of a tv. Not the same as or even comparable to using an iPad app for 15minutes every few days.


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#15 of 21 Old 09-28-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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When I was young, my dad had a job that often required him to be away from home overnight. In fact there were two periods in which he lived away from us for several months for work. This was back in the late 80s and he had an old orange screen laptop that ran DOS. Sometimes he would pull it out and let me play with it, which I loved.

Looking back on my childhood, I've never once thought, "Gee, I wish I'd spent more time on that old laptop." But I have often thought, "I wish I'd spent more time with my daddy."

Just a thought.
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#16 of 21 Old 09-28-2013, 02:01 PM
 
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IPads are nice. I have nothing against them. I also actually have nothing against toddlers playing with them. They will grow up in a world of touch-screen devices, and it's not bad to figure it out now.

 

But she certainly doesn't NEED one to learn her alphabets. How did people learn their alphabets before IPads? Tell her he can get her an alphabet book from the library. It's free. My son loves alphabets, but does them with his blocks and books and stuff, or just on paper with a crayon.

 

If you guys can't actually afford an IPad, then it would be really silly to get one.

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#17 of 21 Old 10-01-2013, 10:08 AM
 
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Does your 2 yr old NEED an iPad?  No.  That said, we do have one here at our house and naturally once she got older we looked at some baby apps that SAVED our butts during cross-country flights to see Grandma.  We also let her have iPad games in the morning to keep her occupied while we both raced to get ready for work.  It saved us our sanity on those specific scenarios.  And I did notice that she learned things very quickly because of the immediate cause/effect of touching objects in the games. 

 

As the other mothers above have stated, no way do they NEED an ipad at any point in their childhoods.  I too believe in having kids be kids and making sure they are having creative and physical play.  But I also don't see the harm in limited, situation-specific time with educational apps (not just random videos).   

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#18 of 21 Old 10-02-2013, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I see that most iPad use comes from a child using a parent's iPad or a family iPad. My DH wants DD to have her OWN iPad. :dizzy  I don't even have a smart phone! Other issues have come up for us since I first posted this so while it hasn't been dropped, it's at least been tabled so to speak.

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#19 of 21 Old 10-02-2013, 09:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post
 

I see that most iPad use comes from a child using a parent's iPad or a family iPad. My DH wants DD to have her OWN iPad. :dizzy  I don't even have a smart phone! Other issues have come up for us since I first posted this so while it hasn't been dropped, it's at least been tabled so to speak.

 

LOL totally in that boat with you not having a smart phone yet DH seems to get a new one monthly!

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#20 of 21 Old 10-02-2013, 02:45 PM
 
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My husband just got our 2.5 yr old a kindle. They have a children's mode that the parent controls if any tv, and apps are allowed and it has a timer. She has access to all the age appropriate books she can eat. It's more affordable. The negative about all you can eat books, its not always the type of book I would like to read like Dora for example.
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#21 of 21 Old 10-08-2013, 03:33 PM
 
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A 2-year-old doesn't NEED an iPad, but I was really surprised what a kid can do with it. 

 

My dd had access to lots of screens since very young from being around relatives (and everyone owns an iPad AND iPhone/other smartphone), and she learned the whole alphabet and numbers by herself around 18 months old, not to mention being proficient at using everyone's ipad/phone. She figured out how to play music and videos, use youtube, take photos, adjust volume, use all the kids apps, etc. even faster than us adults. I mean, 'delete', 'charging', 'loading' were part of her vocabulary before she turned 2. 

 

That said, I do think these electronics are detrimental to her concentration, and somehow I think they make her irritable, so I limit them when we're at home. 


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