The latest Nielsen consumer reports states that 44% of kids between 6 and 12 want an iPad for Christmas. This is not surprising. If you’ve ever watched young kids playing with the devices, they regard them as some of the coolest toys to have and a lot of them hate to deal the occasional interruption from daddy or mommy when they want to use them for strange activities like calling.
The interesting thing is, there are a lot of adults who have the device as the number one item on their Christmas list as well. I don’t have anything against technology (I work in the field), and I have to give Apple a lot of credit for coming up with a highly complex technical device equally capable of keeping a 3-year-old and 30-year-old entertained for hours. Absolutely brilliant!.
The iPads are not cheap, and at a cost of about $500 each, this should be a well thought out buy. If you can get past the price tag and you have enough money to buy everybody else on your list a decent Christmas present, but are still struggling with whether to buy your 5 or 6-year-old a iPad, consider the arguments marketers are using to push the devices to the younger set. As you go through the list remember that money decisions say a lot about you and even more critical, they define the values you are passing to your children.
The iPads and all the i-devices family are some of the best “baby-sitters” around, and some people consider them better than TVs since they are not as noisy, have fewer ads and are educational.
Children should be seen and not be heard.
Kids using iPads are not likely to be tearing the house down playing hide and seek or out in the yard messing up their clothes on the swing sets or God forbid tormenting their siblings by chasing them around the house.
Better than video games
Kids who haven’t learnt how to read can comfortably play some version of video games on their iPads, cutting down on frustration levels when they are not able to play with their older siblings on their game consoles.
Keep the peace in the house.
I have considered other ideas for maintaining sanity around the house, but I’m partial to this argument. If you give a kid his own iPad, he/she will become more self-reliant in the entertainment arena giving his poor parents some much-needed time for them to catch up with their social media activities. It’s the perfect picture after dinner:- dad sitting in his rocking chair catching up on the news on his iPhone, mom in the opposite chair doing the same, baby listening to “Dad and Me” on the iPad and junior playing angry birds on his iPad.
Save on expensive therapy costs in future.
By giving your child an iPad you ensure they are able to keep up with the progressive kids on the block who most likely have the devices too. This cuts down on the phrases “All my friends have them…” and will dramatically change the kids speech to saying things like ”You are the best mom/dad in the world!”. This ensures that your kids are not deprived of anything and will not need therapy in future.
I’m sure I have missed out a couple of others but even with this short list, I’ll stick with books, bikes and other non-technology presents for Christmas for the kids. I’ll hold off on technology until they are older, understand the technology, have a definite need for it, and even more critical have saved some money to buy the device using our family’s cost-sharing plan.
Question; What are your thoughts on this? Do you think a 5 or 6-year-old should own an iPad? Would love to hear your comments below.
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