Toddlers & Tablets

Toddlers & Tablets

A growing trend of younger and younger children using tablets and other handheld digital devices, has sparked a debate among Texoman parents.

A lively conversation on our Facebook page, had parents expressing their opinions on how much time toddlers should spend using a tablet device daily. Most said less than one hour a day, or not at all.

But the parents we spoke to were split.

"A lot of parents are probably against that, but if they don't see it, they don't learn about it, they don't know what's going on," said Kimberli Brown, a mother of a six and ten-year-old, who let's her kids use her smart phone. She said she always supervises her kids' time on her phone, and she believes the world of technology opens their eyes to the world.

Donna Bradford took a more traditional approach with her four children, who she said she wanted to learn the "old-fashioned" way. However, her grandchildren are allowed to use tablet devices.

"She's knows how to operate it to pull up the pictures, she knows how to operate it to bring up basic games," said Bradford of her then two-year-old granddaughter. "And unfortunately... she's downloaded a few games and mom has had to pay for them."

A recent article in the Telegraph says a psychologist in the UK has been treating young patients for "technology addiction". The doctor talked about one case where parents came to him when their toddler, who used an iPad for about four hours every day, would become  "distressed and inconsolable" if the tablet was taken away.

Brown said she takes away her smart phone if her kids misuse it, and the reaction is just like when they lose any other toy.

"They get upset about it, but they have to know what they can and can't do on the phone," said Brown. "It's something that they enjoy doing, so if they can't use it properly, then they don't get to use it."

Christina Myers