Too much technology?

techAs those of you that know us will not be surprised to find out, Little Mr A would rather sit down with an i-Pad or at the computer than kick a ball around outside thanks to his Dad’s obsession with technology!

How much should we let him play on the i-Pad or computer?  We usually limit him to 30 minutes at any one time which I feel is more than enough.  He never gets to go on anything if he has misbehaved, he knows it is a treat/reward if he has been well behaved.  We make sure that he is playing age appropriate games and do not leave him alone, we are always milling around in the room even if we are not actually sat with him (tea doesn’t make it’s way to the table on it’s own!).

When he’s on the computer he loves to play on Cbeebies or Milkshake and we have also got lots of games on the i-Pad for him, some educational, some not!  He is an absolute whizz on angry birds, much better than me or his Dad, we were amazed when he switched it on at the weekend that he had got 3 stars on nearly all of the levels!  He has been using technology for as long as he could hold a phone without dropping it or dribbling all over it and I really feel it has helped his hand eye co-ordination and he also has a respect for technology products and knows not to mess about with them.  Surely in a world where technology is ever increasing in use it is good to teach your children this respect from an early age?

Whenever I ask Little Mr A what he has been doing at school the normal response I get is ‘playing on the learning stations’ (computers) or ‘we have been in the computer suite’.  If technology is introduced as a way of learning as soon as they start school I think it is a good idea to be embracing it at home too.

Recently I came across the website for Oxford Owl which provides a lot of schools’ their reading books.  It is a great interactive website where you can click on the book to read it and play activities.  I think this will be really useful when Little Mr A starts bringing books home as we will be able to play activities relating to the book he has and look at the other books appropriate to his age range/ability level.  He loves looking at this website already and it is something we can sit and do together.

I would like to discover more technology based products that will also get Little Mr A up and about and being more physical.  We have a Wii and a game which he can use the Wii Fit Board with, Nickelodeon Fit which is a good game to get him active but I would like more games that do the same.

I have noticed the Cbeebies website seems to be introducing more active games, Tree Fu Tom and Justin’s House seem to be popular with Little Mr A.

I am hoping that when the nicer weather comes he will want to get outside more.  Should I be more strict and say no to technology or is it a good thing to be embracing at such a young age?  I can imagine that by the time Little Mr A starts secondary school there will be no such thing as text books and they will all be downloaded onto one tablet.  Oh the sadness of missing out on covering your text books in horrendous wallpaper!

I would hate for anyone to think that this is all he is interested in, it’s not, it just seems to occupy a lot of his thoughts recently.  He also likes playing with lego, colouring and baking all the ‘good’ things we should do with our children!

What is your opinion on using technology with your children?  Do you agree that it is OK within reason or do you avoid it at all costs?  I would love to hear other people’s views.