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Catherine, 32, offers a prayer of thanks to Apple — maker of the i Pad — for another peaceful evening.‘He’s been using it twice a day, for up to half an hour, since he was four months old,’ admits Catherine.
‘It’s incredibly useful in getting him to settle at night, something we’d been struggling to do.
Children her age find it hard to entertain themselves, but if you give them a tablet they will sit still for as long as you let them.‘Fyfa would choose the i Pad over her dolls and colouring-in books any day.
We don’t let her play on it for longer than an hour at a time — I don’t think it’s good for her eyesight — but if we’re out having a coffee or in a restaurant and need the children to be quiet, we’ll give them our smart phones to play games on.’ Little genius: have the Andersons fallen for one of the biggest cons of modern parenting?
Catherine and Richard are in good company: recently Prince William revealed how 20-month-old George is truly hooked on his parents’ tablet.
On a walkabout at a technology event in New York recently, William confessed: ‘George has been playing i Pad games and loves them.’When those comments were reported, what surprised me was the absence of a slightest whisper of concern that a toddler, who hasn’t yet mastered language, has been so exposed to technology he already has favourite computer games. Instead of traditional playthings like train sets and dolls, computer tablets are fast becoming children’s favourite toys, and many parents see nothing wrong with it.
There is the i Potty, which allows toddlers to play on their i Pads during potty training.
Then there is the i Teddy — a holder in the shape of a stuffed toy.
Her husband Ross is a technology manager and consequently their house, in Skegness, Lincolnshire, revolves around technology — from digital cameras to computers — making it inevitable their offspring would grow up with similar interests.‘I struggle to get the washing up done with Fyfa constantly hanging off my leg.
Even if Prince George ever needs a job, chasing colourful shapes around a screen with his finger will not turn him into the next Steve Jobs, the late Apple chief who launched the i Pad (and who said he never allowed his own children to play with them).
Educationalist and literacy expert Sue Palmer has been taken aback by how quickly i Pad use for even the youngest children has become normalised since these gadgets were introduced in 2010.
Fifty-eight per cent can play a computer game, but only 52 per cent know how to ride a bike.
These are the same techno-literate children who want everything now — because that’s how life works in i Pad world.