In this age of selfies and hashtags, our day wouldn't be complete without us using our gadgets to access our social media profiles, or to search for anything from news to recipes. But does this mean that our kids should follow suit? After all, there are plenty of games and apps that are amusing to kids.
Super Couple Doug and Cheska Kramer worked with NAN Kid Four’s panel of experts to arrive at a decision concerning their five-year-old daughter Kendra's tablet usage. Their #SuperChoice is based on the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
According to the AAP, it is not advisable to introduce any screen-based device to children younger than two years old, as it is best for them to learn from real-world experiences and interactions. For children three to five years old like Kendra, no more than two hours' exposure to electronic media in a day is advised. The right quantity and quality of use is important.
Here's how Doug and Cheska turn tablet time into a #SuperChoice time:
1. Make it bonding time, not baby-sitting time. The Kramers ensure that Kendra’s tablet session is a form of active family bonding instead of simply a “babysitting tool”. Be there when your kids use the tablet; it is advantageous because the educational and entertainment value provided by the tablet goes with the social interaction between parent and child. Encourage your kids to share their learnings, and hear them out when they do because this will build their confidence as you mutually learn from each other.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
2. Make it interactive. Worried that tablet time would be synonymous to your kids’ “tune out” time? Take it as your cue to bond with them as they fiddle with your tablet. Encourage them to ask questions and make comments. Supplement this with a physical bonding activity such as biking together to give your kids the best of both worlds.
A study conducted in New Zealand shows that tablets allow children to explore new things through a different set of eyes, allowing them to experience their interests in an interactive way. It’s now a matter of carefully choosing the appropriate tablet apps to download for our kids’ learning and enjoyment.
3. Make it a teaching moment. It is vital to encourage our children to develop their curiosity. A research conducted by the Michael Cohen Group LLC found out that interactive learning through age-appropriate apps “offers a microcosm of an optimal learning experience that involves active exploration construction of solutions and learning explicit content.”
However, parents must also remember that a tablet is just an educational tool; it will never be a substitute for real parenting. American Academy of Pediatrics’ spokeswoman -Marjorie Hogan- agrees. “If used appropriately, it's wonderful… we have to teach children how to make good choices around it, how to limit it and how to make sure it's not going to take the place of all the other good stuff out there."
4. Balance is key. For child development expert Lala Alcala, the keywords are moderation and balance. “Rather than prevent our children from using these (tablets) altogether, it may be best to make sure our children are able to use them in moderation and in ways that continue to foster their optimal development,” she said. Balance is also important, in the sense that we want our children to be competent in the “wired world” and at the same time remain in touch with the physical world around them.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
A final note: teach by example. As engrossing as our games can be, don’t simply dismiss your child’s play time requests just because you’re in the middle of a clan war. You run the risk of them dismissing you when you ask them to turn the tablet off when they see you prioritize that tablet over them.
Making a #SuperChoice is vital in modern-day parenting. Recommendations are rapidly changing based on new research, and things that used to apply to parenting don’t always hold true anymore in the face of the fast evolving world we live in. You can do more good for your children than you could have ever imagined. Do your homework like the Kramers -- build a #SuperTeam, with experts such as your pediatrician who can guide you to make informed decisions. Join other like-minded parents on Facebook at NANKIDFOUR.
NAN® Kid FOUR is a growing-up milk for pre-schoolers above three years of age. It has these 5 PRO points: DHA, a component of the brain and eyes; Bifidus BL probiotics that may help strengthen a child’s immunity; DENTA PROTM , protective cultures that may have beneficial effects on a child’s dental health based on the study of Nase, L. et.al., 2001; Vitamins B1,B2,B6, B12, niacin and folic acid that may help promote energy utilization for your child; and has ZERO SUCROSE, commonly known as table sugar.
Khoo, E., Merry, R., Nguyen, N. H., Bennett, T., & MacMillan, N. Early childhood education teachers’ iPad-supported practices in young children’s learning and exploration. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/cdelt/otago065453.pdf