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Should Children Have Their Own Electronic Devices? I Say Yes

Good news for Apple who unveiled the third model of the iPad yesterday, a recent survey by Price Grabber shows that 42 percent of users plan to buy the next model upon its release later this month and, according to another survey by IHS iSuppli, 55 percent of tablet users are considering buying additional devices for family members.

It seems we have become a nation of people frothing at the mouth to upgrade our pricey electronics and our children are becoming the first generation to actually look forward to hand-me-downs. Parents don’t want to share their iPad with their toddler and, in many cases, are upgrading in order to hand their ‘so last year’ device to their children.

Still, the question remains, what kind of impact does the ownership and operation of all this technology have on the family? Does a child really need their own computer, iPod, or tablet?

Certainly it is not a necessity, but is it harmful? In my opinion, no. We are heavy technology users in my household. My husband and I both have our own iPhones and computers. My children have a variety of devices ranging from gaming systems made for their age group to castoff iPods my husband and I no longer use.

I recognize the potential this creates for our family to spend evenings with our faces buried in our various devices, completely ignoring one another, and that does happen on occasion, but there is no danger of this becoming our normal. Technology has only the power you give to it and the trick is in identifying ways to incorporate it into your family dynamic in a positive way.

I actually find owning these things to be life- and relationship-enriching. My kids and I have spent countless hours reading interactive books together, googling animal facts, and playing educational games online. Technology is going to be a big part of their lives and call me crazy, but I’m a little proud that my 2-year-old is so adept at operating an iPad.

Do your children have their own devices? How does your family find balance in their use?

Photo credit: Flickr

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