With lockdowns being reinstated around the country, you may be thinking about buying your child their first tablet. After all, tablets keep kids busy when you need some you time! Before you buy, though, consider your child’s age, as well as how they will use their tablet.
There is no exact age that determines when a child should have a tablet, but asking yourself these questions will help you make your decision.
Why Do You Want Them to Have One?
Every parent loves the idea of having something to occupy their child once in a while. Tablets are great for air travel, car trips, and other situations where you may not be able to give them your undivided attention. For these reasons, it could be a good choice. However, for younger children setting clear boundaries and limiting screen time is essential.
Tablets can also be a great educational tool for children, but you have to keep in mind that app stores are filled with apps claiming they are educational when in fact they may have little to no educational value at all. Before you give your child a tablet, make sure there are clear expectations about how it will be used, how often, and when.
Do Your Research and Know How to Lock It Down
If you do get your child a tablet, do your research on any and all apps before you allow your child to interact with them. Many apps offer purchases and other things that you may not be aware of. Setting up parental controls on the device to prevent them from making purchases and downloading apps without your consent is essential, no matter the age of your child.
If you are not tech-savvy enough to get parental controls set up yourself, be willing to enlist the help of an expert or a friend with experience. These controls will prevent them from seeing adult material on the web as well as advertisements meant for older audiences.
In addition, you can limit their screen time and even set specific hours that the device can be used. If you want full control as to when, how long, and what your child uses the tablet for, you can require a parental password every time it is used and every time an app is launched. Once you’ve set up the device, children should still be monitored when interacting with any device that connects to the web.