Ask Mum & Dad

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Parenthood - Mum & Dad an­swer all your ques­tions about par­ent­ing. They may not al­ways agree but they’re al­ways full of ad­vice. If you have a ques­tion for Mum & Dad, send it to kids@time­out­malaysia.com.

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.

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