Wait for Preschool
Over the years, more and more researches have been conducted to see the impact of these gadgets among children and to answer the question as to “what is the right age” to introduce them to our kids. Experts from the American Academy of Paediatrics strongly uphold in their belief that children, in order to develop fully, understand, and get a good grasp of everything including their surroundings and external environment, should be able to feel and hold objects that are tangible to them. For them to experience the real world, they must be able to grasp it, firsthand. However, the rise of these gadgets limits our kids to encounter actuality of these experiences as they put their attention to the screens of smartphones, TVs, computers and the like. It is for this reason that they recommend kids to be at least in their preschool age before introducing them to one or more of these techies. Underlying reason for this is explained by Dr. Carolyn Jaynes, a learning designer for Leapfrog Enterprises.
“However, by age three, many children are active media users and can benefit from electronic media with educational content. This content often uses strategies such as repeating an idea, presenting images and sounds that capture attention, and using child rather than adult voices for the characters” she justified.
But, this doesn’t mean the pre-schooler, then be allowed to use these gadgets for as long as they want to. It should always be under adult supervision. Children as young as four can already engage in educational activities that are helpful for their learning and cognitive abilities using these technologies, but when unsupervised, could also lead to adverse effects. Children could not distinguish between good quality and age-appropriate content to those that are trashy and provides only but pure entertainment and harmful to their learning development. According to Jeannie Galindo, supervisor of instructional technology for the Manatee County School District in Florida, she would not suggest a gadget purchase with an unsupervised environment, not until the child is at least aged 11 to 13 years. However, parents should always be an advocate of balanced exposure to technology, active play, and education that would allow them to thrive in every aspect of their development.
Here’s a few tips from Internet Matters that would help you in managing your child’s screen time.
- It’s important to set a good example with your own device use. Children will model their behaviour on you, so make sure you’re not glued to a screen every time they see you.
- Talk to them about the amount of time they spend online and what they spend that time doing.
- Agree on an appropriate amount of time they can use their device. These limits could well help adult members of the family too!
- Get the whole family to unplug together and create screen-free zones of the house, such as bedrooms or the dinner table. This will encourage kids to talk more and not be absorbed in a device all the time.
I hope you found this information useful and if you’d like to know more about life coaching for kids please contact and we’ll be happy to discuss this further.