It is important to monitor your child's tablet use and apply parental/security controls where possible but there are some positives to tablet time and it's been a bit of an eye-opener for me.
I wrote a piece last week about the struggles of working from home and being my child's teacher. I was riddled with guilt about the lack of formal learning and yet acutely aware that I simply couldn't do it all. With both of his parents working from home play has become an important learning tool for our little boy.
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I've had to cut myself some major slack this week. I've lowered my expectations when it comes to house-work, I've picked one or two easy crafts to do each week and the rest of the time I'm doing what works. I have to do what allows me to have decent blocks of time to get my work done. As much as I want to sit down and do jolly phonics, it won't pay my bills this month.
I've taken a lot of comfort from the realization that we really are all in this together. Every family is different and there is no one rule that fits all during this time. I hate to say it, but I was honestly relieved to see so many people using tablets and devices during this time. It is important to monitor your child's tablet use and apply parental/security controls where possible but there are some positives to tablet time and it's been a bit of an eye-opener for me.
While co-parenting with my kid's tablet (OK it's not that extreme, but he's on it a lot more than I would ever allow under normal circumstances) I've found some educational apps, games and Youtube channels. We are big fans of alphablocks and numberjacks in this house. When he's used these apps for a while I don't mind him enjoying some Youtube Kids.
There are some other benefits of tablet-time which have become apparent this week
- When he's playing on his tablet he's calm and in "chill out" mode which makes it the perfect solution when the baby is napping.
- It's mobile meaning he can use it in any part of the house. This has been important when myself or my husband need to take a work call in peace and quiet.
- It's independent "learning". When he's watching an educational show or playing a game that focuses on phonics/numbers he does it all by himself. It means that in some small way he can learn by himself while we are working.
- We have used it to access video recipes to enjoy some kitchen learning when he helps me prepare meals.
- I hate to admit it, but it's a great bartering tool. If he doesn't make his bed, brush his teeth and tidy up his toys there is no tablet-time allowed. It works!
Our tablet is an Amazon Fire!