I grow up with technology. My dad got the Atari cassetes game which played Ping Pong and space Invaders when I was (I think) five or six. We got a VCR which we used to tape our favourite cartoons and TV shows like shogun samurai, Ume no Triton (or we called toriton), Moero Attack, Oshin, Moby dick, Tom & Jerry etc. As I have a PC at home – I kind of aced the kelas komputer at school and when the Internet arrive – I was one of the few kids in high school/uni that religiously goes to cyber cafe to download ebooks and read fanfics/scanlations/anime.
This basically shaped my view of how technology shapes our lives. It shaped mine. Both me and hubby grew up with technology and we felt a large part of our lives revolved around it.
I do read a lot of research that basically says Tv,tablet computers and internet is BAD!!!!! Yup, there is a lot of truths in these research. But as a parent, I honestly believed technology is a good parenting tool if utilised correctly. In fact – there are research where tablet computers are used to engage kids with learning ability or autism whom otherwise not able to learn through conventional means.
Like a kitchen knife – if you just give it to a kid without supervision – it would certainly harm. But if you teach your child how to use it correctly – to chop veges, to do craftwork (all under parental supervision obviously) – you actually teaching them skills that would benefit them in a lot of things.
I primarily use Ipad with Amni in the car. I drive alone with her a lot and an ipad would keep her totally occupied through our long daily commutes. She watches and dances to Hi-5. She adores Elmo and Cookie Monster from Sesame street.
- limit the use of ipad in only certain situations like airplane/car trips or only in certain places i the house. No iPad during meal times if possible. I know some moms that had to resort to using tablet during meals as it is the only way the kid would eat – but do try wean them off – yup they will throw tantrum in public – but mealtimes is simpler without it. Amni used to do this for a short time but we really enforce no Ipad on dining table – it does work. Perhaps we are lucky and managed to rectify it before it turns into a habit but do try.
- introduce other unplugged activities like bedtime storybooks, drawing, sticker books, building blocks, pretend play with dolls etc so your kid do not play with the Ipad all the time
-put charger/ipad in a place where only you can access so that they cannot have it all the time
- invest in a good iPad case
- off the wifi/data plan or put it on airplane mode. It will stop all the advertisements that your baby might press and lead to questionable sites.
- download videos into the ipad so you can play it offline rather than accessingit through youtube or other streaming video apps. My hubby doesit for me (basically he downloads the videos off the internet and upload it into the family home server for me to download into Amni’s device). A simpler way – get apps like Protuber which allow you to download youtube vids to watch offline.
- switch on restrictions (find it in the settings). Put in the password and NEVER show/tell your kid the password like FOREVER. Turn off deketing apps, installing apps, in app purchases, apps that you dont want your kid to access
- turn on guided access (see links below). You have to triple click home button and put the app in guided access mode so your kid can only have access to certain parts of the screen (so they do not end up accidentally opening advertisement or trigger in app purchases features).
- if you have an older kid – I suggest the Screen time app to limit the screen time for your kid.
- download only educational age appropriate apps. I download flash cards based apps for Amni and some phonetic apps to introduce alphabets. Don’t download inappropriate games like the infamous Poo game (saper yang follow my twitter will understand this haha). I also download ebooks like The Sesame Street – The Monster at the End of The Book, Learn with Homer
Links on how to put in parental restrictions on your Ipad
Ios : Using restrictions
How to set up parental controls on Ipad – gottabemobile
How to lock Ipad so your kid stays within the same app
Hope that helps for all techie moms out there