5 reasons not to give your child an Ipad

File:1st-Gen-iPad-WiFi-iBooks.jpg

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Are your kids begging you to buy them a tablet, Wii, or smartphone? Here are 5 reasons you should say no, in reverse order of importance.

5. All your friends and neighbors regret they gave in.

Have you talked to any parent who has said, “I’m so glad we bought our son video games?” or, “I wish our daughter spent more time texting?” Although this may not be true of our society as a whole, every relative, homeschool parent, and friend I have discussed the subject with tells me, “Don’t do it.”

4. Kids with more screen time are less healthy.

The more time kids spend with digital devices, the less time they are running around or getting fresh air. Instead of playing virtual ball, your kids should be outside with a real bat.

3. They will read less often.

Whether reading ebooks is as beneficial to kids’ education and reading levels as print books is still being debated. But in general, the more digital devices a child uses, the less time he spends reading. After all, there are only so many hours in a day. Kids who are bored would traditionally pick up a book to pass the time.  Now they pick up a tablet.

2. It will harm their ability to relate to others.

Life is about relationships, not activities. Children need to be engaging others in conversation, and working and playing with others. Don’t let  machines be their best friends.

1. They won’t be able to practice mental prayer.

This is vitally important! Too much sensory stimulation, whether from TV, loud music, or the internet, damages kids’ ability to concentrate. If you are constantly distracted, how can you spend half an hour in quiet time with God? Mental prayer is the key to holiness. Don’t deprive your kids of it for the sake of keeping up with their peers!

Connie Rossini

Share with us: Have you given in? What results have you seen? If you have stood firm, what are your reasons?

 

About Connie Rossini

Connie Rossini gives whole families practical help to grow in holiness. She is the author of Trusting God with St. Therese and the free ebook Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life. She writes a spirituality column for The Catholic Voice of the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska, and blogs at Contemplative Homeschool. She is also a columnist for SpiritualDirection.com. Connie and her husband Dan have four young sons.
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20 Responses to 5 reasons not to give your child an Ipad

  1. Karen says:

    I couldn’t agree more! We have not given our kids any digital devices but we do have a video game console and it has the potential to be just as bad. We have strict limits on video game time- but I have witnessed first hand that their behavior is different after they have played- and not for the better! Even though we are choosy about the games they play- they tend to be more aggressive with each other. My kids do “beg” for those digital devices- but there will be plenty of time for them to enjoy these items when they are adults!

    • Absolutely there will be plenty of time later. Why are we so much in a hurry? I feel the same way about movies. We’re very cautious about what they watch at a young age. Let’s let them be kids!

  2. Ruth Ann says:

    I agree. Number 2 of you list is the one that I see most often. Children and parents end up not interacting with one another.

    There were none of these digital devices when we raised our daughter, but there was TV, and we had one—and only one. But grandparents wanted to buy Catherine one for herself. We said no. When TV was on we watched as a family. It was a shared experience. Later we had a computer, but no Internet. We limited her use of it to 30 minutes daily. Catherine spent her time drawing, practicing music, outdoors playing, etc.

  3. Jenny says:

    Excellent post Connie. It is such a hard time to raise kids with all these virtual distractions. Our kids laugh (sometimes)because we are so behind the times–we have one laptop and one desktop, but the laptop stays in the dinning room along with the desktop. We have one television in the family room and two telephones, both of which are wall mounted. My husband and I each have a cell phone, but they old flip tops.

    We introduce technology as needed and age appropriate.

  4. Jen says:

    I find these types of post a bit of a sting. My child has autism, and the iPad he has is of great help. Not all of us can live the same type of lifestyle. His iPad helps him to communicate via verbal cues and social stories, as well as apps that help facilitate speech, which he needs in order to relate to others.. As mother of six children, two with developmental delays, I don’t regret their use of it (which is daily). We all have our own path, and I think there has to be balance with everything. It’s what Our Lord taught us (I am also a Secular Carmelite myself).

    • Jen, thanks for commenting. I certainly don’t want to criticize anything that helps your child with autism function better. I have heard before that they can be helpful to kids with autism, but haven’t read much on it, so I’ll let the experts/parents of these children determine what’s best. How you would balance that with the other kids in the family, I just don’t know. But I suspect most families aren’t buying digital devices for their children for the same reasons you are. Your comment shows why we cannot judge others from appearances–but that does not mean that general standards should not exist.

      • Jen says:

        My older children don’t use it. It hasn’t been an issue with them. They are middle school and elementary school age. They also do not go online, or use FB, or have phones, etc. It’s been an easy balance so far.

  5. my kids had one half hour on the computer each and Maybe one tv show… they are creative, well read and social

  6. Lisa says:

    You have really made some great points here. I agree with you completely!

  7. I liked this so much that I posted in my homeschool facebook page!

  8. Not to spam you, but if you want to see where I linked it, it’s here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Literate-Little-One/342722995748000?ref=hl

  9. Pingback: Educate your kids for divine union | Contemplative Homeschool

  10. Manny says:

    Sigh, this issue has torn me a bit. In principle I support every one of your reasons. In my heart I agree with you. The argument against them are that the children develop new skills of the 21st century, computer skills. I have a cousin, a rich cousin, who has given her six year old the latest ipad. He’s a whizz on it. I don’t know what the right answer is. I have no intention of trying “to keep up with the Jones’s.” I just want what’s best for my son. I don’t have to make this decision yet since my son is not quite four years old. But I can tell you he loves to sit at my laptop and play his youtube kid’s songs. He’s already good a navigating around, though he can’t type words of course.

    • Thanks for your honesty, Manny. I know this is a struggle for a lot of people. Studies show that kids who learn to use a computer at a young age have no more proficiency as they get older than those who never use one until their teens. Of course, now that computers are used so much in school, computer use at home may help some kids do better in subjects where they need to use it at school. So there could be a slight advantage there. But computer skills can be learned at any age. They are not like language skills, where proficiency tends to diminish if you learn them later. Look at all the middle-aged computer whizzes out there. Few of them probably had a PC when they were young. Pray about it.

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