An E-Reader of Her Own at 4? No Way

Around my daughter’s fourth birthday, the topic of tablets came up as a gift idea. It was a generous offer by those involved, but my husband and I are united on this front – No major electronic purchases for the kiddo.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is firm on the recommended limit of 1-2 hours of screen time per day.

But my kid can operate my e-reader better than I can. She loves all the Disney apps, and they seem educational enough.

So where is the line drawn?

Mine is at the boundary of who possesses the electronics.

If she gets an e-reader, she will more than likely scratch it, drop it and cover it with peanut butter before you even throw away the box it came in.

The educational value of tablets is not lost on me. We have plenty of alphabet games and math apps intermixed with my sci-fi novels on the Kindle.

But my daughter knows that the Kindle is not hers. It’s mine. And I’m nice enough to let her use it.

Having her own tablet won’t teach her how to share or how to respect another person’s property.

Many kid-friendly tablets have educational features like reading aloud or teaching phonics. But you know what else can do that for my kid? Me.

I don’t want a tablet to become the easy way out.

I think her own tablet would make it too simple for me to go about my business and leave CeCe to an electronic baby-sitter.

I’m not judging parents who use electronics as a distraction in a pinch. I’m the first to whip out the Kindle when the wait time at a restaurant is longer than 30 minutes.

But I have to work hard each day to make sure those devices don’t cause me to slack on the job of parenting.

There is certainly some value in using tablets with our toddlers.

But nothing is gained by allowing them to be the “owner” of one at such a young age.

Watch Baby Bump Editor Katie Saltz on the ABC36 Noon News on Thursday, Jan. 8 to see new products and activity ideas for mom and baby.