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Gadgets and Internet

Screen time , love and happiness

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Sarishty

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Feb 13, 2013

Hi Friends ,   My son is a little over 3 yrs , and he is so fascinated towards gadgets , before reading through the articles on this site , i used to get really happy and proud that my son is able to use laptop , phones i pods on his own . He downloads a game of his choice almost everyday and can play most of them without any help , all he needs help with is in entering the password . He can use any and every phone , he does recognize alphabets yet but he is able to make out which number is his dads no. which is mine and which one is his nani's number ..dont know how ...and he calls us too ....As i said i used to be really proud and get fascinated that he is able to all this without any help , he is not very good at writing stuff but otherwise I sometimes feel he knows everything.. He is asking me to get him a pad ot tablet and ofcourse for games ....Initially I promised that he will get one very soon , but now I dont know what to do ..he is as it is not that close to me as he is to his father and dont want him to disheartened or loose trust in me ...Any word of advise will help ..Thanks  lot  

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Anurima

| Feb 13, 2013

Hi Sarishty, great suggestions from the moms above. My 4 year old loves to use the Ipad (which we all share). But she is allowed to use it maybe once a week to watch rhymes, play games or draw and scribble on it. A couple of my friends with children of a similar age have their kids hooked to these gadgets. Even when we meet at birthday parties, some of those children refuse to mingle and play but instead take their parents' Iphones or Ipads to entertain themselves. I was surprised to see the parents carry an Ipad to a birthday party! We certainly wont have control on what gadgets they use after a few years but I would not recommend any parent to allow their child to become dependent on these gadgets so much that they lose the essence of being a child. So one thing is for sure, you need not feel guilty for not getting him an Ipad anytime soon.. It can wait! Get him some activity books or story books instead :)

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sarishty

| Feb 13, 2013

Great help ! this makes my decision easier and gulit free of not keeping my promise . I dont know how far I can go with the limited screen time as I am not the primary caregiver as Payal mentioned but I m so glad that I am on this forum as it changed my overall prespective of looking at things ..I always felt that I am not doing enough as a Mother and used to envy as my husband is suberp with it . But I understand it very clearly and respect it even more that my husband sacrificed so much for our kid and has prove to be such a good dad ..i m behind on stuff but I am not feeling guilty as I understood the concept of primary caregiver through this forum which I never realized before ..Thanks a lot to all the ladies and most importantly great moms

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Bismi George

| Feb 13, 2013

I agree with you bhavna.... the situation is the same at my home too.. half an hour of screen time is allowed... everyday... and on weekends... one hour or so... if she doesn't ,(7 yr old ) stick to the timings... next day screen time is cancelled.. don't know for how long we can manage like this.. however.. so far so good....

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Bhavna

| Feb 13, 2013

Dear Sarishti, as a parent you can always ensure that your child gets the best in the world, however we all have heard , excess of anything is bad... tricks that work in our house are 1). The i pad or computer is not my daughters, its for everyone 2). 1-1. 5 hours of screen time is allowed in one day for everyone including us ( she chooses herself between my computer / i pad and tv) 3) if she does not adhere to the time limit then the next day will be no screen time for her... it is that simple in our house... she is 6 and we bought the ipad a year back and we have successfully managed the situation at home for a year. Really if you try hard enough, results happen...

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Neetu Ralhan

| Feb 13, 2013

Hi Sarishti! I agree with Payal here. My boy almost 12 now has had one gadget for the past 3 years - a PSP. Has been coming back with frequent headaches from school, the eye specialist advised that though his eyesight is intact, the eye muscles are really weak - so minimal screen time and 8 hours of sound sleep is a must. He does keep coming up with demands for gadgets... exposure is good, however it should come at the right time and should not become over exposure. As Payal said, and I have also experienced, it is extremely difficult to take away a gadget than it is to buy one.... A 3 year old is much too young to be playing with gadgets, there is so many other wonderful things to do.. tc

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Payal

| Feb 13, 2013

One more thing I noticed which one needs to address separately. A child of your sons age remains dependent on their primary caregiver. It is not clear if you or your husband is the primary caregiver. Since you can buy him an expensive gadget, I am assuming you work. If you have a full time job, you might be feeling a sense of guilt and disconnect with your son. But the most important part of your sons life is definitely you. Dont take "closeness" as an indicator. A child will be close to the person who is "fun". A disciplinarian parent usually becomes the "bad cop". However, your son will learn to value the discipline you instill in him. He will also be proud of you and your work when he sees you work so hard for him and the family. At the age of 3 he still is too young to understand but in a couple of years he will. He will not lose trust if you dont give him a gadget. He might not even remember you had promised him one. You can be firm with him and explain why you are taking a certain step. In the meantime, find out ways to spend time with your son everyday. One on one quality time. Wake up half an hour early and spend that time bonding, telling stories, romping around on the bed. Be more of the "fun" person that your husband probably is. Your doubts and guilt will vanish and you will not feel that disconnect any more.

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Payal

| Feb 13, 2013

Sarishty, One word of caution before you give your son a gadget, my 5 yr old daughters ophthalmologist as well as counselor forbade us to allow her to watch a screen (tv, ipad, phone, video game, computer, any screen based toy) for more than 2 hours a day and that too in intervals of 15 minutes only. My daughter has had an ipad for about a year now and it took me a lot of heart break and tantrums to lock it up so that she would not spend hours on it. Now she has access to it only on certain days and for an hour at a time. Not only are screens harmful for their eyes, my psychologist friend says that the fast paced games and violence on tv makes children of this age hyper active, behaviorally impatient and prone to throwing tantrums. Best would be not to give him a gadget till he is about 7. However, who am I to say, since I have given my daughter an ipad at the age of 4. So my advise is, even if you give him a gadget, you have to make him promise he will listen to you about timings. Strictly monitor his usage. Tell him that he will get it only on weekends and that too for an hour a day. I suppose, if you cant beat 'em, join 'em. Make sure you and he utilise the educational apps (there are thousands) if you take an ipad. It is a helpful learning tool, all said and done. But always in short doses.

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