Why I Allow My Children to Use iPads (With Restrictions)

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Stop Blaming iPads for Your Child’s Poor Health

There is a lot being said about iPads contributing to poor health in children.  Some claim there are even studies.

Wait?  What?  How are there studies?  The iPad is not even 10 years old yet.  How can there be a study linking a child’s health to iPad usage?

Anyway, this is sort of my rebuttal to a blog post I saw from a mom who does not allow her children to use iPads or tablets of any kind.

The irony is I tried to offer my rebuttal several times as a comment on her blog post, but it kept failing.  Well, I will get the last laugh!


Why I Allow My Children to Use iPads, Smartphones, Computers, Game Consoles and even an Old-Fashioned TV

Let me start with a tip.  Do not buy your child a brand new iPad.  If you do, purchase a case made worthy of Fort Knox credentials.

I have purchased my last few iPads on Amazon.  I usually purchase a generation or 2 behind because it will cost a lot less than the current generation.  Check it out>>>>

We are living in a technology age.  In the next few years, we will see more autonomous vehicles controlled by devices become more mainstream.  We are already able to control numerous household devices from a few clicks on our phone.  We track almost everything from a device that fits in the palm of our hands.

Most of us cannot get through the day without our smartphone.  It has our schedule, communications, tracking, to do list, reminders and more.  Some of us even check on our pets on our phone.

Programmers and developer jobs are increasing at a rapid pace.  So are jobs in information security.

Technology is here to stay and evolving very quickly.

I used to do a lot of on-site tech support.  In a nutshell, I would go to someone’s house or office and help them with their technology needs (really wants).

A lot of my time was spent teaching high school and college-aged children how to perform simple tasks on a computer.

If you were born in the late 90s or later this should not happen.  You grew up with computers.

The mentality that iPad and tablet usage is bad for children is very wrong.  Not allowing them to use these devices will put them at a disadvantage.

Many schools now have iPads or Chromebooks in the classrooms.  They use them for school work.  Now I know my kids are not using the iPads for school work for the most part (when they’re home), but they are learning to use the device.

They will not be at a disadvantage.

What Do I Allow My Children to do on the iPad, Tablet or Computer?

Let me start with the rules.  They are as follows:

  • They cannot use any electronics on school days unless it’s for school work which is very rare so far
  • On non-school days they are limited to 2 hours maximum
  • There are certain tasks that need to be completed before using any electronics
    • Eat
    • Take care of your chores
    • Read
    • Practice piano or any other extracurricular activity you participate in
    • Any homework that is not completed yet
  • Usage of electronics is governed by household rules. Meaning if you are grounded for any reason then you are not allowed to use electronics.
  • No phones, iPads, tablets or other electronics at the dinner table. This applies to parents and guests as well.  This also applies when we go out to eat.

They use the iPads primarily to play games or watch videos on YouTube.  It’s not really that different than my generation. We grew up playing video games, talking to our friends on a landline phone for hours and watching a ton of TV.

They do use apps like ABCMouse and Epic.

They do occasionally (mostly Isaiah) take pictures and record videos.  Isaiah wants to start a YouTube channel, but we are still talking about it.

We have conversations with our kids about expectations and the dangers of the internet.  I am not naïve.  I know what is out there.  Education is the best defense.

We closely monitor their usage.  I do have software installed on their iPads to monitor usage and the iTunes account is in my name, so I know what is installed and uninstalled.

They are not allowed to chat with anyone other than family and a few select friends.  Yes, this is monitored.

The YouTube account is also in my name, so I know what they’re watching (and annoyingly enough subscribing to).  Izzy (my 4-year-old daughter is only allowed to use YouTube Kids, but this is still closely monitored because stuff can sneak in.

They use one of my laptops.  It is refurbished and has Fedora (Linux) running on it.  I prefer this because it teaches them there is more than Windows or Mac in the computer world.  They only use the computer for ABCMouse (Izzy) and learning to code (Isaiah).

We are planning to get Isaiah a Chromebook.  It just has not happened yet.

This is the Chromebook he has his eye on>>>

For some, the rules might seem strict.  Well, these are the household rules.

Rules teach children that there are boundaries.  They also teach respect for authority.

Yes, my kids do chores.

Yes, there are limitations to everything, just as there should be for adults.

Yes, we monitor their activity.  Not because we don’t trust them but because we don’t trust the creeps outside our 4 walls.

But iPad Use Leads to Obesity and Other Ailments

Just stop it.  Seriously, stop it.  This is a big fat lie (pun intended).  If anything, Izzy and Isaiah are underweight.  They are both skinny.  They are both very active.

Isaiah plays baseball and is pretty good at it.  Izzy takes gymnastics and we’ve been told she will excel at it.  They both take karate.

Neither one of them walks anywhere.  At best it’s a slow paced job but most of the time it’s a full-throttle sprint.

They have other extracurricular activities.  Isaiah plays piano (for 4 years now).  Not once has someone said he should stop playing piano because it may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.

The plan is to have them play basketball this winter.

We go for hikes on a regular basis.  We go for walks around the neighborhood.  They routinely hang out in the backyard just running around.


They pretend to help with yard work or shoveling snow.  This usually just leads to more yard work or shoveling snow for me.

They use every piece of furniture in the house as a trampoline.  Isaiah uses the house as his own Parkour gym.

We play board games.  I am teaching Isaiah chess now.

If you think using an iPad leads to obesity, then it is because you are not teaching your kids that there are other things in life besides videos and games.

One of the roles of a parent is a manager.  You do have to manage your children’s time, as rigid as that might sound.

People do not like the word manage but an unmanaged child can become a problem.

What Not to Do Regarding iPads and Tablet Usage for Your Kids

Stop using the iPad or smartphone as a babysitter.  Don’t say you don’t.  We are all guilty of this. We are trying to get something done and our child is driving us crazy.  What do we do?  We hand them our phone, so they leave us alone.

We have all done it.  It might be a phone, an iPad or the TV remote but we have done it.

I see it all the time when we are out.  Parents hand their kids a phone so that they are not making noise or are left alone.  The phone is a babysitter and not a good one at that.

If you do let them use a device then limit their time and monitor their usage.  Be honest and let them know you are doing this.  Don’t try to be sneaky about it.  Trust is important.

Teach them about what is out there on the internet and why you are monitoring their usage.  They will be more likely to come to you when something does happen.

Set rules for iPad usage.  Set the expectations for them being allowed to use any media.

Make sure games and videos are age appropriate.  Our kids are pretty good about this on their own.  Izzy just wants anything with My Little Pony.  Isaiah sometimes tries to push the envelope, but we push it back.

Why is My Child Unhealthy?

Stop blaming everyone and everything else.  Start looking internally.  If you let them sit for hours and hours and hours with an iPad, then that’s why they’re unhealthy.

If you let them eat junk and candy all day long, then that’s why they’re unhealthy.

If they never go outside and just lie around on the couch all day then that’s why they’re unhealthy.

I know some kids have pre-existing health conditions like asthma.  I know some are more prone to being obese.  I get that there are allergies out there.  That should not stop you from getting your child involved in things or being active.

I have had kids on my baseball teams who had asthma.  My son has seasonal allergies from May 1 to May 31, like clockwork.  This is the heart of his baseball season.  He still gets out there looking like Will Smith in Hitch.  He still hustles like a pro.

Go for a walk every other day.  Take them on a bike ride.  Go for a hike.  Play a board game.  Talk to them.

I also recently signed my children up for Kiwico.  It’s a box subscription for age-appropriate STEM projects.  

Check out Kiwico STEM project crates for kids>>>>>

This gives us a chance to sit down and work on a project together.  It really is a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

Doing anything excessively can be harmful to a child’s (or adult’s) health.  Ipad usage is not the reason a child becomes obese unless you let it.  It’s not the reason for other health issues unless you let it be.

They used to say the same thing about sitting to close to TVs (You’ll go blind).  My vision is not what it used to be, but I am far from blind.  They used to say the same about video games.  I do not have carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis and can type with the best of them.

Be an active parent and your child will be active.



Why I Allow My Children to Use iPads and Other Devices (With Restrictions)

33 replies
  1. Terri Beavers
    Terri Beavers says:

    I allow the kids to use their ipads, kindles, iPhones, etc too. They had to teach me how to use mine. But they are limited n when and how long they can use them. Their main reason for using them is to make music.ly videos and to watch YouTube videos.

  2. Stephanie | Adventures in Aussieland
    Stephanie | Adventures in Aussieland says:

    It’s all about moderation. I have seen negative outcomes with some of my clients (i.e. knowing how to turn the page of a book on an iPad but lacking the fine motor skills to turn a page on an actual book) but that shows there really hasn’t been much moderation or introduction to a variety of objects.

  3. Serena R Hale
    Serena R Hale says:

    I do not see anything wrong as long as you establish guidelines which you have and it seems to be working for you all. You are right. Being an active parent will make a difference when it comes to your offspring.

  4. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    This is a great article. I love how you set limits and monitor your children use of device but are clear of the need for them to have the knowledge and engage with a rapidly growing industry. I also am a fan of restricting usage, and letting them be kids, enjoy the outdoors and family time. I do see many parent use their devices as a baby sitter, and it sickens me.

  5. Ally
    Ally says:

    I completely love this post. As a young mother, I grew up around a lot of the same technology that my son currently is. I had time limits set for me just like I’ll be setting time limits for him.

  6. Rosey
    Rosey says:

    I let my son use electronic devices. It’s not excessive, but I definitely feel like it would put him behind the curve if I did not. As a teacher, I see how electronic devices are infiltrating instruction. Kids are going to be using these things, whether we like it or not (I honestly do not mind, in moderation, like everything else we allow). Good tip on getting the older models of iPads though!! There are bound to be drops (my phone was dropped by a child this morning…thank goodness for Gorilla Glass).

  7. Natalia
    Natalia says:

    I’m a teacher and I couldn’t agree more with this post! Everything can be used but within certain resonable limits. When we allow kids to use modern technology wisely and we control it systematically, they won’t be unhealthy, and on the contrary, they may benefit from using different gadgets. Great post! 🙂

  8. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    I agree with you. As long as everything is in moderation (and restriction) I think there’s nothing wrong with children using devices. There are actually a lot of good educational materials for children. My nieces and nephews love those!

  9. Dalene Ekirapa
    Dalene Ekirapa says:

    It’s proper to see that you are actually giving them access to these electronics but with restrictions. The world is growing so fast when it comes to tech so it’d be nice for them to embrace these early just as long as it’s restricted, as you do.

  10. Sarah Fatima
    Sarah Fatima says:

    Great read. You can’t stop your children from using electronic devices but setting limits is a great idea. I also like your set of rules. Every parent should set rules and limitations for their children betterment. Thanks for sharing this million dollar post.

  11. Ruth I
    Ruth I says:

    My niece is allowed to use Ipad as long as it is she is using it to learn. But we set a limit for her and also if we do not really have a choice but to allow her.

  12. Sandra Crespo
    Sandra Crespo says:

    My kids are allowed I just monitor what they are doing closely. I have found some great apps that have helped my son with his writing which I think has been great! I agree with moderation and some sort of household rules for using electronics.

  13. Sundeep
    Sundeep says:

    Love it or lump it you can’t keep children away from hand held devices. The best way is to put restrictions and keep tabs on your kids as to what are they using these devices for.

  14. Adessa Young
    Adessa Young says:

    I agree with you that we should allow our kids to use iPad but definitely with restrictions and rules. I like the idea of implementing rules such as using the ipads or other devices for school or research purposes, and by setting time usage. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Lavanda Michelle
    Lavanda Michelle says:

    As with everything there has to be moderation. My children have electronics and they know the rules and limitations.

  16. GiGi Eats
    GiGi Eats says:

    My sister lets her kids use them – it’s a distraction thing for situations like traveling long distances. I don’t see a harm in that, but restrictions are definitely necessary!

  17. Krish
    Krish says:

    Technology is here to stay and we got to learn to use it to our advantage…kids have to be groomed and disciplined and they will learn..
    Thank you

  18. Fran Jorgensen
    Fran Jorgensen says:

    Tecnology is just so scary for me at the moment, in Australia 10 year olds have phones at school and they are allowed to use them and have them with them inside the class and this drives me bonkers. You make some great points and we have also signed up for KIWI CO and my kids are loving it!

  19. Anzah
    Anzah says:

    Agree with you, we are surrounded by text hnologies. All surround us using phones, tabs and iPads. Even now the car drivers are operating them for their duty purpose. So how can we kept our child away from it. Yes but we can control them on using it.
    I also allowed my children using cell phones by putting alarm that when the alarm rings your time will be finished.

  20. Cityrocka Perry
    Cityrocka Perry says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea to put controls in place for your kids when it comes to computer activities. When parents don’t stay a step ahead, it gives predators a chance to swoop in. Thanks for this article!

  21. Olga Zak
    Olga Zak says:

    I agree with you. Using technologies a need in the modern century. Exceeding of anything will be harm us. In that way using cell phones and ipads need to be controlled.

  22. Holly Hood
    Holly Hood says:

    This is a great post. I love how you monitor your kids when using these devices. I agree that more things will be controlled by electronics in the future. yo


  23. Berlin
    Berlin says:

    Using the iPad with guidance and supervision from parents is a nice way to allow kids to be just like the usual ones who have their gadgets. But again, supervision is important.

  24. Mommy Sigrid
    Mommy Sigrid says:

    We allow our kids to use gadgets and watch TV. They learn a lot from them. But the use is controlled and it’s sparingly. The shows they watch are not in the regular channels but those that were selected by my husband. 😀 They also read together at night from the ipad–sometimes at least.

    • sgombar
      sgombar says:

      Epic is a really cool app for reading. I believe it cost $5/mo but they have an unlimited number of books at their disposal..sort of a virtual library.

  25. Liev Cruz
    Liev Cruz says:

    Thanks, this is so true! My cousin had missed few of her classes because of using her tablet. She is like wanted to be a youtuber than going to school. What I do is limit her internet data usage to avoid more internet addiction.

  26. kumamonjeng
    kumamonjeng says:

    Limiting ipad for the kids are so challenging. The moment you take care the electronics, kid became an instant monster. I am glad to pick up few tips here, such as do certain tasks before you can use any electronics. Let the kid know they have to earn it.

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