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This has definitely been a challenging issue with our four year old. Any other parents have similar experiences?
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Remember how we used to "zone out" in front of the TV? At least the toddler is interactive when using a tablet. As a parent of two teenagers who were addicted to technology from two years old, but are still active, social and very well-adjusted, I say . . . relax. :0)
My son starting using my kindle fire (though he calls it an iPod) at 4. He likes puzzle games games best (like Wheres My Water and Bag It) and also uses it for books and videos. We also have him run through capital and lowercase letters in a handwriting app (with a stylus!) which has shown itself effective.

Overall, while yes he does zone with it, he's almost always actively engaged and he's usually more than happy to turn it off ("to save batteries!") when we ask him to.

Edit: he also has a v-tech innotab, which he uses rarely and is next to worthless in terms of content to keep him engaged after mastering his desktop and the kindle. New content is too expensive and poorly designed compared to the plethora of free and attractive content available in other places.
My 4 year old grand daughter is more competent on her i-touch than I would be if I owned one.
My 5 yr old granddaughter is very proficient on her dad's iPad, playing 'cut the rope' and 'angry birds'. But she also likes puzzles and quizzes on dinosaurs and other animals. This new generation grows up with this tech as we did with bikes and sidewalk chalk.
Back in '86, my 3 year old became very close with our original Nintendo console, but we would cut his sessions off when the game frustrated him too much or when we felt he had been sitting on his butt for too long. We'd make him move on to reading or something more active.
My parents gave me a newspaper and some silly putty and told me to figure it out.
If I had children they definitely wouldn't have a cell phone at 6 like some of them.
I know this is getting further afield from the toddler question, but we tend to give our kids a lot of freedom on how to spend their free time. Daughter is in cheerleading, dance and band, and my son plays basketball and Tae Kwon Do. As long as they keep these activities up and keep their grades up, they can spend their free time on their iPads, computers, phones, etc.
We found that at times the 4 year old wants to do nothing but play Angry Birds, to the point that he would fight with us or refuse other activities (like going out to ride his bike on a sunny day). It was getting to be a cause of daily flare ups. We have deleted the game and limit him otherwise to about 30 minutes of time. Many of his friends seem to have less difficulty moderating around the device than him.
Craig, my son does that more with Lego Batman and Sonic the Hedgehog on the consoles. We then unplug as a family for 30 to 60 minutes and that seems to help
+Craig Canapari Ah, I see. A friend of ours had a similar issue, and actually got an egg timer! Not easy, but it eventually worked.
When I have kids, I plan to limit access to tablets, computers, video games and such... but not to the point it would cripple them technologically.
I was reading an article on something similar not long ago; the consensus seems to be that as long as you limit the time spent on TV/Tablet/Etc. and load educational programs, it's beneficial. I imagine if you look at the recommended limit on TV, and divide it among other media (not going over the limit in total) it's fine.

I remember being three and my dad showing me a game on his Commodore 64 and how to use the joystick.

Compare lil' old me to my husband's four year old nephew who can't quite spell, but as long as his mom can type in stuff he's looking for, he's already great at amusing himself on Youtube.

The next generation are going to whip our old-person butts online in another decade or two!
my nephew knows how to use an iPad. She is 2 years old. Her mom stores her favorite nursery rhymes in there and she uses it when she likes to sing along with it. I remembered she taught my mom how to use it. My nephew said "Mama use your point finger to scroll." Kids these days are really into computers/phones/gadgets
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