Screen time is a modern hot potato for parents and now Prince William has waded in on the debate, admitting that Prince George loves to play on his iPad.
It seems that while many parents strictly ban access to electronics for their tots, the Windsors are part of the growing trend of families using modern technology to help entertain and educate their children.
Prince William discussed his son's tech habits during his recent royal tour of New York City.
Making an appearance at a technology event at the Empire State Building, Wills admitted that his 16-month-old son is just like any other boy his age and loves playing games on an iPad.
“He told me that his son George has been playing iPad games and loves them and that this was a good way to teach him the inner workings of electronics,” says Ayah Bdeir, the chief executive of LittleBits, a company that makes electronic snap-together modules that allow children to make their own electronic creations.
Is Screen Time Good For Toddlers?
It’s tricky to keep children away from tablets, phones and TVs – we’re surrounded by technology and just like we can’t stay off Twitter, toddlers are hooked by electronics.
But it was still surprising to learn that a whopping eight per cent of children say ‘tablet’ as their very first word. In the study, conducted by company Tech21, experts found that babies are replacing the traditional ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ with this word.
And some experts have argued that screen time takes away from traditional family time. Plus, it can hinder social interaction. If a child is playing on a tablet of watching a film instead of playing with other children or adults then she's more likely to struggle with talking to others when she's older.
But despite parents being reluctant to plonk their child in front of the telly, there are some positives to a healthy dose of screen time.
A study conducted by New York University researchers found that some apps can boost preschoolers' intelligence levels and help them learn basic numerical and language skills.
A group of children were given unsupervised access to two educational apps for 15 minutes a day – half of them learning basic reading skills and the other half, maths. At the end, the children tested better in sound and word constructions.
Tablets are also brilliant for your tot’s fine motor skills – all of that button pushing and swiping is helping develop the tiny muscles in his hands.
Screen time is also a great way for young children to address complicated emotional subjects and learning and health issues.
"Watching some programmes with your children allows parents to talk about the story lines and characters," says Dr Amanda Gummer from FundamentallyChildren.com.
"Apps can develop learning and some children find it easier to learn key skills through the personalised game-play that an app provides rather than in a classroom setting."
Dr Gummer says the key is to have a balanced play diet. "If children watch half an hour of TV or play on the computer, they might go and play in the garden for half an hour, or go to the park"
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How much screen time do you let your toddler have? Let us know in the comments box below.