Do You Employ High-Tech Sitters?

IpadWhat do you use to keep your children occupied while waiting for your food at a restaurant, driving to grandma’s house or zipping through the aisles at the grocery store?

I doubt the answer is dancing, unless you’re doing it on a video that you posted to YouTube and can be viewed on your kid’s favorite electronic device.

Don’t worry; you aren’t alone.

According to a recent survey, nearly 60% of parents admit to using a tech toy to entertain their children, and experts predict that number will likely rise in the next decade.

In other words, iPads, handheld video games and MP3 players are becoming acceptable battery operated babysitters to children whose parents are looking for a little peace and quiet.

According to the poll, most parents turn to electronic devices as a means of child care at least twice a week.  Some moms and dads claim the gadgets are a saving grace and allow them a much-needed break from parenting.  Meanwhile, roughly a quarter of respondents only used the electronic gizmos in certain situations, such as traveling or attending a family function.

The majority of parents surveyed also admitted that they no longer leave the house without a smartphone, tablet or handheld game console specifically to keep their children busy and entertained.

Still, not all parents polled rely on iPads to keep their kids in line.  Fifteen percent of moms and dads say they’ve never resorted to technology to babysit their kids. Roughly half of those parents claim it’s because they don’t want their kids to get addicted to the devices, while the other half wish to protect their children from inappropriate games and questionable online content.

Upon reviewing the results of the poll, some childhood experts warned that if a kid is spending more than 25 hours a week with a tech toy, parents should consider other methods of child care.  This is especially true if the kid exhibits mood swings, aggressive behavior or no longer wants to participate in other activities.

How often do you use electronic gadgets to babysit your child?



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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.