I know of some friends that feel quite strongly that kids user the age of three should be unscreened. That is, they should not be allowed TV, computers, smart phone devices or technology like the iPad. They cite expert recommendations against the practice and there have been much debate on the matter.
And while I do believe that toddlers should most certainly not be given that much of said stuff, I and my technology loving husband, really find introducing these things to Q (and Evan when he’s a lil older) is not only quite alright with us, but something important given that they are mainstays in the future that he’s going to be growing up in.
So, yes, we allow Q to use the iPad/iphone/ipod and he gets a fair (but limited) amount of TV time too. In fact, since daddy upgraded to the iPad 2, Q even scored his very own iPad- all filled with apps that we have curated, reviewed and tried out ourselves and shows. No less, the iPad has been a god sent on our travels with Q seeing as it duly entertains him on board flights and on those long road trips between destinations we always end up having to endure.
We do have rules, of course. Like, he does not get the iPad (or the like) till past 4pm and when he does get to have screen time, its (kinda) supervised. I monitor the shows he gets to watch (I rather he watch on our home system than on TV, for example cos there are no ads), the apps he gets to play (since I pick them). And of course, we calibrate the brightness on the devices and enforce how far he has to sit to watch TV.
Our kids are growing up in a different era; a time where technology is not a luxury but a part of life. A time where learning and childhood is markedly different from any other generation. While we parents grew up in an age where “swipe technology” was a fantastical concept (remember how and improbable we thought it when we watched it in Minority Report), its a reality in our world today. The same Today our children are growing up in.
To the parents- and experts, that scoff at the validity and soundness of what we are doing since, you know, we all grew up not having technology and were perfectly happy playing with wooden toys and climbing trees, let me just put things in perspective: last time mullets were in and policemen wore shorts.