Kids and technology

This is a topic that sparks debate! Technology or no technology? How much? At what age?

The trick is in the balance and there is a lot to factor in. Staunch ‘montessorians’ will stand by the belief that children under 3 should have no technology at all, and very limited from 3-6 years old. Other people might be happy to sit their little one down in front of the tv all day. You need to do what works for you in your family. Here are some things you might like to consider:

  • Children become addicted to flashy screens very easily (besides being detrimental to their brain it also will result in a huge amount of nagging or tantrums until they get their next ‘hit’).
  • Children get overstimulated very easily and will appear revved up or hyper after watching screens.
  • Young children 0-3 years old CANNOT differentiate between reality and fantasy (real or fake), they will believe everything they are hearing and seeing is real, this slowly starts to be rationalised as the child nears 6-7 years old (think fears, nightmares etc).
  • Children copy what they see – for example speech patterns, attitude, accents and behaviour (I can always spot children in the playground who watch a lot of tv as they mimic the ‘over the top’ actions and speech of cartoon superheroes and such).

In my household I only have a tv in my bedroom and not in any other areas of the house. The tv is never on unless it is for a specific reason for a set (short) period of time (usually once per week as a treat or if I have to make an important phone call quickly or iPad if doctor appointment is running late and they are starting to lose it after playing with all the activities I’ve bought with us etc).

The girls are only able to watch shows that show age appropriate ‘real’ things for example Play School, Joey’s Big Adventures etc. For my eldest child (7yo) she watches shows like War on Waste, documentaries, Dude Perfect and Slow Mo Guys (on YouTube) as she loves technology, science, nature and the environment. She is also autistic and cannot handle fantasy themes even now (so that gets factored in to my decision making process). For us balance means everything else first, technology last. 

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