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How Young is Too Young for Technology?

babies diagnosed with autism at 2 months
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Welcome to the future, it’s a scary place where children as young as three can dart around a computer with very little hassle, often leaving their parents dumb-struck by what they have seen. You can’t halt progress, so what can you do?

The simple answer is to nurture your child’s interest in technology and assist it’s development without letting it run free. Be sure that you have vetted every stage of their interaction with computers and that it is balanced with non-computer based time. The classic example of course is letting your kids play a game on your iPad but making it clear that they only play that game and be sure you have control over the settings, also ensuring that the time they play it for is limited and they have time away to play in the more traditional ways as well.

Homework technology benefits?

Some schools give the children homework to do at the weekend as young as 4, so letting them research on the computer can help them in associating the technology for intellectual gain rather than just a play thing, it become a tool rather than a gadget. Many of the children’s TV channels have dedicated websites that include learning games, these can also be good fun for your little one of an evening but again, limit it in the same way you would your television. Another question mark held by parents is mobile phones; weighing up the convenience of being able to contact them when they are playing out with the dangers that are inherent with mobile phones, including peer pressure. I would say that from a very young age your child shouldn’t be playing far enough away from home where you can’t see them anyway, and if they are at a friends house then you can call their parents instead. As a child grows and becomes more responsible it may be worth looking into some form of communication.

Boys with technology tablet

Is your child too attached?

Ultimately it’s down to your own child and how they manage ideas like responsibility, cause and effect and dependency. For example, if your child tends to be unaware of the fragility of some technology then you should wait till they understand. If you wouldn’t let them carry a cup of water on their own, then maybe a £400 tablet is too much to handle too. You should also assess if they become too attached to their toys, the chances being that if they refuse to put down the doll they got for their birthday then maybe the lure of the shiny new games console will be too much. As with all aspects of parenting it’s about knowing your child and what they are capable of; don’t halt their progress by fearing technology but in the same breath don’t let technology take over in the hope of an easier life. In the end the technology we use at a young age should be as a tool for learning and not just for entertainment, if they are not learning then you should sit down and really consider if they need it that much.

 

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About Steven Petter

About Steven Petter

Steve has three children, Connor, Harmony-Skye and Fletcher. He is a Martial Arts enthusiast as well as an avid reader of books about Philosophy, he began writing short stories and also writes music reviews.

Website: Steven Petter

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