DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I HAVE A SON AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN ARE AGES 3 AND 7. THEY GAVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN iPAD OVER THE SUMMER BREAK. MY SON SAYS THIS IS BETTER FOR THEM THAN WATCHING T.V. BECAUSE THEY CAN FOLLOW CARTOONS AND PLAY GAMES THAT ARE PERSONALIZED AND INTERACTIVE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Susan, La Jolla
Dear Susan: This is a super interesting issue. There might be some advantage to the tablet or iPad because they are interactive and can be used for instructional purposes, say learning the alphabet or how to add numbers.
Unfortunately, many parents do not choose and monitor the content this carefully. Instead, they use the technology to keep a child entertained and quiet, whether that be in the car, a restaurant or elsewhere.
Watching T.V. is confined to a spot where there is a T.V. box. Tablets are small and portable, so the media follows the child, both indoors and outdoors. It brings uninterrupted entertainment.However, that may come at the price of interacting with other people and the local surroundings. So, I would suggest you make this clear to your son and daughter-in-law.