Ask Mum & Dad
Dear Mum & Dad, Help! My son plays with his iPad constantly and refuses to put it away. We let him have an iPad initially because we travel a lot and thought it would be a great way to keep him occupied on planes and long car trips. It worked really well – too well! He started demanding to use it more and more. We tried to say no but there are only so many tantrums we can take before we give in. What should we do? iPeeved in KL.
Mum: I guess your son wears the trousers in your family!?! Seriously, you’re the parent, act like it. If you don’t like his behaviour then you are responsible for fixing it. Giving in to tantrums sets up a vicious cycle and you’ll end up with a spoilt and disobedient child. Just take it away. Why don’t you play games with him or read books? Everyone is too heavily involved with their electronics these days and not actually spending time communicating with each other.
Dad: What is your son playing? iPad use is a fantastic way to develop the brain and communication techniques, even in the very young. But, obviously, everything in moderation. Make sure the only apps he plays with involve decision-making and help his social skills. Tell him beforehand that he gets to play for, say, 20 minutes (show him when on your watch) and stick to it. As he gets older, he can play longer. I love iPads for kids play by the way. Studies show kids are using up to three times more of their brain than us adults because of this type of technology, so don’t cut it out completely.