I bought my toddler a tablet and instantly regretted it


We were in the process of moving. We were staying in temporary housing while we waited WEEKS for our belongings to arrive. I could see boredom all over Charlotte's face day after day as she lost interest in the toys I was able to pack for her. She was constantly antsy as she watched her daddy paint the walls in our new to us home, who could blame her? so was I, haha!
 With nothing to do but sit on the floor for hours on hot summer days and watch her parents clean and paint and tear things out to prepare for the arrival of the delivery truck with our things.

So i caved. I bought her a kindle fire- kids edition tablet. I thought this was the time for it. With almost 10k reviews and a high star rating it almost felt reassuring. My fellow mom friends have raved over the years how much of a “blessing”it’s been for them.it kept their kiddos busy, it allowed freedom to get things done because they’re preoccupied with games or videos on their tablet. I was told there’s a lot to it! It’s educational! You can monitor their screen time! Well here are my thoughts..
After receiving the tablet i immediately opened the box and downloaded apps based upon her age level. I downloaded nursery rhymes because that’s what she loves. I downloaded apps on counting, matching, colors, and animals.

I spent the next couple of days trying to show her all that was available to her to do and then stepped back.

I remember leaning against the wall watching her so focused on the screen with no clue on what was going on around her.

For some reason I immediately regretted the purchase. So many things went through my head, and I also didn’t like the look of my little two year old sitting there with such technology. I bought it for her because so many moms buy their kids the same thing. I see it all the time when we’re running errands, at stop lights while their kids sit in their car seat,at restaurants to keep children well behaved and preoccupied, and of course from the children of fellow mom friends.

From what I was feeling, this tablet wasn’t helping my daughter learn, maybe a little. I believe there really is technology that can be educational, I just prefer my children to learn a more traditional way. If she needs to learn colors or matching or counting she can use flash cards or every day objects around the house. If she wants animals, she can look outside our window and see rabbits hopping along the lawn or squirrels scurrying up the tree. She can see and learn about all of these things in books. in physically touching objects and turning pages, not staring into a screen and tapping on animated objects. If she wants nursery rhymes, well lets pop in a CD and dance around the living room to nursery rhymes or lets sit on the floor and sing itsy bitsy spider together.  bottom line, her development needs to come from her mama and not from a screen or in addition to a screen.

The tablet wasn’t helping me be a parent either. the biggest praise for the tablet from other mothers is "it gives you so much free time". I see the appeal. I honestly do. I would be lying if i said it wasn't one of the reasons I purchased the tablet to begin with. I thought it would give me more time to do other things or to give me a break. but the thing was this tablet was actually hurting me as a parent. not helping me. 
The tablet made things too easy for my daughter. If i'm doing something my daughter needs to learn that I'm busy and she needs to entertain herself. Yeah, it's not that easy but it must be taught. If i'm talking on the phone, or with company she needs to learn to have respect for her mother and for others that it isn't her time to be standing in the middle of the floor demanding for attention. It's the the age old concept of "wait your turn".

In my opinion, giving her this tablet simply reinforced that I can still give in to her need for attention and cater to her desire for entertainment while I am preoccupied with something else. Part of independence and the use of imagination comes from moments where she has to be alone. Where I deny her the attention she is looking for and not give in to every want or desire.

I want to raise independent, respectable, creative children with fun imaginations. Whose minds develop and grow with being involved in what they are surrounded by. 

My child can be bored. I'm completely okay with that. she can even be bored for hours. I've learned i'm comfortable with that. part of being a kid is being bored.  So after so many days with this tablet. I pried it from her little fingers and stuck it right back in the package. Went to the store and bought her a new packet of crayons, paper, and play doh. 

you can call me behind the times or what have you, but I just did not see any positivity from the use of giving her electronics. even for a little bit.

Now, I am not saying that if you give your kids electronics you're a bad parent. FAR FROM. 
I've learned so much from fellow moms in raising my own girls who happen to give their children screen time. I'm simply stating that in my heart and in my opinion with my own children it's not something I prefer to give. Maybe when she's older. 

Not allowing my daughter to play on my phone or give her electronics and plop her in front of a TV, she listens better. Shes more attentive to what I am saying to her and her imagination is just beginning to soar. She gets bored every day still. It can get frustrating. BELIEVE me. being at home full time is NOT easy and there are so many days I feel like I need to put her in day care to have more social interaction and play with new things and learn new crafts. But I know that is part of being a stay at home parent. It's my job to do these things with her. It pushes me to learn to be more creative and think outside the box. 

This tablet taught me so much in the way I want to raise my children. It taught me to stick to my gut on what I feel is "right" and "wrong" even if others disagree, even if it's outside the norm.



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