How Will Tablets Affect My Kids?

I wondered if I was making the right decision. I didn’t know. Amazon was having a Prime Day. There were going to be sales. My wife said she wanted tablets for the kids. I bought 3.

What effect would it have on the family? Would they ever talk to me again? How would we keep them from breaking them? How would we keep them safe online? I didn’t know.

I’m an IT guy, but I wasn’t looking forward to setting up 3 tablets at once (one Mini iPad and 2 Kindle Fire HDs for Kids). I didn’t setup any of them. My wife did it. That was nice.

What’s changed? My oldest daughter now texts me throughout the day. She asks me weird questions like, “How we will survive when the inventors starve us?” and “How was your day?”

My second oldest daughter Skypes with her friend in Chicago and sets the tablet next to the computer while she’s playing Minecraft. She already has a webcam. I’m not sure why she does this.

Kindle Fire HD Kids ReviewMy oldest son likes downloading books and games to read. Books, movies, and TV shows are included in Amazon Prime on the Kindle Fire HD for Kids and parental controls are great.

Longer movies can be downloaded to view offline while in the car, but we limit their time on the tablets and have them locked via a pin code. We can also set it to turn off at a certain time of night.

When I came home from work today, the kids were sitting around the dinner table eating pizza and my oldest son showed me his favorite game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nice.

I have no delusions about them somehow becoming smarter or more tech savvy from having the devices, but I have noticed it’s dramatically changed how they interact with the world.

My son takes pictures with his Fire and shows me a slideshow. I get to see the world from his point of view and see the pride he has in presenting me his work. “That’s the best one!” he says.

They still greet me when I come home and hug me before they go to bed, but they also come over just to ask me to unlock their tablet (versus asking me for my phone when I get home).

When I was growing up we had Nintendo and VHS tapes. This is the same thing, replaced instead by apps and instant video streamed over the Internet. Ok, it’s actually quite different.

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