By Stephanie Olson

A lot of children have their own iPad these days, it’s rare to see kids playing outside anymore or truly enjoying their youth with something other than a screen. Times are changing with the constant growth of technology, but children shouldn’t own an iPad that they are able to access at all times. Their childhood memories will look a lot different than ours were back when we were little because they are constantly wanting to look at a screen, instead of interacting with other children or playing with toys and using their imagination. It makes me sad seeing a lot of children in public holding their big iPads anywhere they go and never really making any interactions with real humans.

It’s hard to put blame on the parents because people are overworked these days and they just want their children to be occupied with something. An iPad helps keep the child distracted while the parent does whatever they need to do in the meantime. Parents must know that putting a screen in front of their child is bad, but it is a temporary fix to keep them distracted while the parent does something productive. I think there are better solutions to keeping kids distracted because back when we were kids, we didn’t have iPads to distract us, we had toys and our imagination to keep us quiet.

The bad part about constantly giving a child an iPad whenever they act up or to distract them is that they will start expecting it. Kids are smart, they understand when they are able to get to play with the iPad and start to act up on purpose so that they can have access to it. They can easily be consumed by the technology for hours instead of playing with their toys. Playing with toys actually helps with cognitive and physical development for the young children, which is important for their growth. Too many hours on a screen can also interrupt their sleep at night and they could also develop an addiction to it as well.

I think the best solution to this issue is that parents shouldn’t buy their children their own iPad because they shouldn’t be spending large amounts of time on it. Parents should limit the amount of screen time for their child and download apps that will help them learn, instead of mindless YouTube videos and gaming apps they play. Parents could also introduce their child to other games like a Nintendo DS or Leap Frog that will help keep them off the internet all together. I know it can be hard for parents to use an alternative for an iPad, but in the long run it will help the child’s growth and development.

Conversation starters:

  1. At what age do you think children should own their own iPad or phone? Why?
  2. When do you think it might be appropriate for parents to give their child an iPad?
  3. What do you think some solutions could be to reduce the amount of iPad use for children?
  4. What other things could parents do to keep their children occupied while they are busy?
  5. Why do you think parents give their children an iPad to play with?
  6. What are some reasons iPads could be bad for children in your opinion?


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