I, like many other parents, suffer from techno guilt. Are my children going to be iusers in life, instead of wehelpers? Is it right that the ipad is always around, like a permanent Mary Poppins, enticing and promising enchanted lands 24/7 and not just when the wind blows from the east? Does the constant magic make our children dull and boring, unable to think for themselves?
There are many schools of thought.
My motto always has been: know moderation. Nothing should, and could replace a parent. But supplement education? Yes, definitely.
If I find myself handing off the ipad with a sigh of relief, as in, whew now I get a few minutes of quiet, I know I need to step back and reevaluate my parenting.
In regards to Leo, as opposed to my perfectly normal six year old who could really find something else to do, the ipad takes on new meaning.
There is a whole underbelly of apps geared towards special education. You won't see these apps on the featured apple pages which usually showcase yet another angry birds game or other such irritatingly mind numbing apps. But they are there. Apps for communication. Apps for essential daily skills like toothbrushing and pottying. Apps that promote sign language, shape recognition and eye hand coordination, medicine trackers, and apps geared for different neurological disorders and sicknesses. I have an app for a medical interactive illustration of the human skull and brain which I use to show folks exactly what and where those bits are that Leo had fixed etc.
Dorothy, we sure as hell aren't in Kansas anymore.
Apps and ipads are used in school, because children seem to learn better from a screen then from a surly underpaid teacher. (Not all of them are like this, of course, but, but...you get the idea)
Leo, since being inoculated to the ipad, is eating it up, fork and spoon. This boy knows how to swipe, change screens, delete, and start up his favorite apps in which he manipulates squares, feeds the horses, shaves the sheep, matches images, and pops balloons.. Did I mention he can't talk or walk yet?
Does this make me feel like a guilty parent? Am I making my baby boy into some kind of early nerd who is ignorant of the important things in life like love etc?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
I'm pretty sure I'm giving him tools to live in this life. Doesn't he just look like the average nine-to-fiver? Ha!
He pretty much knows what he wants and how to go about getting it.
Just ask his docs.
And I'm also pretty sure that he is made out of pretty strong stuff. And if the ipad helps him learn and develop his brain, there is no way I'm going to stand in the way.
This is Leo after all.
Normal rules don't apply.