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iPad Obsession

19

I’m a terrible parent.  I made the mistake several months back of letting my 4 yr old play with my iPad.   I honestly never use it. I have a HP Windows tablet that I use so the iPad was just sitting around most of the time.  So I got him a few games and let him play with it.  It started out as just a few minutes here and there.  Then, it was on Saturday mornings so my wife and I could sleep in.  It was a great babysitter at 6am.  Side note, I have no idea why he won’t sleep later than 6am on Saturday mornings.

Anyway, things quickly spiraled out of control. He became addicted to getting new games.  I would let him download a free game every couple of days as long as his behavior in school was good.  If he got in trouble at school then he lost the iPad for a few days.  I thought this was working out pretty well.

Then we started seeing a disturbing trend.  He didn’t want to go play outside…he only wanted to play on the iPad.  In fact, it was all he talked about.  I knew we had a problem when he started waking up and the first words out of his mouth where “can I play the ipad?”.

So, to try and limit this behavior we tried limiting the use to just a short time per day and we set a timer.  This worked fine as long as we remembered to take it from him.  But (here’s where I win father of the year) I always seemed to be so into whatever I was doing (usually working) that I rarely took it.  End result: he ends up playing it for hours at a time.

I finally had to make a tough decision, I took the iPad to work and left it there.  He was crushed and he still asks about it every day.  But now he is going outside and playing and actually playing with his toys inside when he isn’t outside.  Before he would just play the iPad.  The iPad has been at work for a couple of weeks and I may leave it there much longer.

I realize there has to be a middle ground where he gets to play it for just small blocks of time but I’m having a hard time implementing that.   And some of the games are good for his development.  He has letter games and number games so it’s not all fluff.  But that still doesn’t excuse the amount of time we allowed him to be on it.  Anyone else have a kid with an iPad obsession or any other electronic device/game?  I’d love to hear how you combat this in your kids.

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About Author

Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

19 Comments

  1. Janeane Davis on

    One thing I like about my kids’ Kindles is that I am able to set them up so that they shut off at a set time each day, but they can read books for an unlimited amount of time

  2. I am with you on this one. Though my son is aloud one hour a day of playing time and he had to choose what he wants and im pretty good at telling him time is up. It’s sad but this stuff is great for babysitting the kids when we are busy but what I have realized is my son becomes an annoying brat that i cant stand when hes in the game mode!

    Minecraft… all I hear about is mine craft. It never ends! So I tell him I don’t care about video games. Now I will also say if its a rainy day then okay or if its cold. I will drag him away from the games ans stuff to try and do other actives but its hard sometimes.

    You just need to do what you think if best for your child no matter what others think. It sucks that my son isn’t aloud to play the xbox. But you know what, im sorry it hurts his feelings but there are other things you can do!

  3. We decided early on not to get that kind of thing for our kids. Main reason being we have 9 kids and that would be expensive, but also because I think they need to learn and develop without all the technology and electronics that we have today.

  4. My boys are teens and they carry their tablets just about everywhere that they go. Your son is so cute!

  5. My son is constantly on some electronic device as well. 🙂 PS. I am a follower of Christ! God Bless!

  6. It’s so hard to find a good balance- my two year old is a technology genius (or else I am just technology challenged) and loves to play my iPad. We makes sure he’s not playing on it more than 30 minutes at a time a few times a day, but he would play it all day if we let him. I know that he will need to know how to navigate the technology world when he’s older, but really, at two- go play with your trucks!! 🙂

  7. My kids have iPads, I do not own one yet. I will say they are little tech wiz kids and everywhere they go they have carry them….obessed indeed!

  8. xxplumcrazeexx on

    My granddaughter has been playing with her iPad since she is one and she will be 2 next month, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. There are many educational apps on there and she can already say her ABC’s and count to 10. I say go for it.

  9. I just had to hide ours. My daughter was happily playing ABC Mouse, but she’d have an absolute tantrum when Daddy took the iPad away for bathtime, etc. And that’s just not okay in my book.

    It’ll come back out in a couple of weeks, but there are limits.

  10. LOL I see this with most kids these days, its amazing how fast they learn to use all these new devices! It is definitely hard to find a balance.

  11. Erica Collazo on

    I see so much of this with kids these days. There are so many nice learning apps too. My daughter has a Nabi 2, she’s only allowed to use it on weekends and that’s if she even remembers to use it. She used to be on her Nabi 2 all the time, until I installed time controls on it so it would lock when her time was up.

  12. Myrah Falco Duque on

    Join the club! I fell sorry for my daughter and let her use it, never saw it again. Just recently I received a Mini iPad from a brand, so that one is ALL mine!

  13. My ipad is sitting on top of our microwave and has been for about 3 weeks, all for the same reasons. My kids got hooked! And not only that we have 2 kids, one ipad, you can imagine the fights. Not worth it. Wish they never even knew it existed…lol.

  14. I can absolutely relate! My three-year-old loves to play on our tablets. We try to only download educational apps, but even still, he always wants to be in front of a screen! I limit his time with them, and have a screens off policy during the day at home. We listen to music and work on crafts, activities, or play, instead. I always have a lot of work to do during the day, but I try to set up a craft, and work alongside him while he works on it at the table.

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