Join JustParents to ask for advice and make new friends! It only takes 60 seconds. Join for free

Introducing Technology

posted 8 years 2 months ago
At what age have you... or do you plan to introduce technology to your kids? I know this is somewhat of a controversial topic because parents are so split about the ages that it's best.

I'm not even sure about my own feelings on it. I do think that it's rather important to introduce computer learning applications and learning games just as early as the child is able to comprehend it. That I've never wavered on.

I have more of a problem with phones. Some parents, I know, want to provide phones as soon as the child is school-aged. It makes the parent feel safer and I understand that... but I don't think I will ever be able to agree with that way of thinking. It just seems too young to me. When the time *is* right, then my feeling is that a basic cell phone... with which to make CALLS and not a smart phone is probably the wisest way to go.

Anyone agree with that? Or am I just a fuddy duddy? hehe Okay, maybe I am, but if there are convincing arguments about "the other way" I'll be glad to listen. Smile

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I got my 9 yr old son a "dumb" phone, after deciding he was old/mature enough to run about town (to the park and friends houses) on his own, so he could call if there was a problem. After we moved I decided to upgrade him to a smart phone so he could use Facebook to keep in touch with old friends.
My daughter uses my phone and tablet to play games, and has since she was 2-3. At six years old she isn't old enough to go anywhere by herself, but when she is, depending on her maturity and ability to be responsible, she'll get her own phone also.
Ever child/parent is different. What works for one, doesn't for another. I don't think there can be any absolute answer.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I first introduced technology when my son was about 8 years old and it was a huge mistake. He wasn't mature enough yet to handle the responsibility so we took it away. Now that he is almost a teenager we have reintroduced technology in the form of a child-friendly tablet. We have parental control software and a password on the device so that he doesn't use it too often and we can monitor what he does on it. So far it seems to be working out, but it does get a bit hectic when he has to get off of his tablet to do chores or go to bed. The only problem I have personally is that he seems to become a bit zombie like when he is on the tablet and it's almost like he cannot function afterwards for a few hours or so. This has caused my fiance and I to decrease his exposure to it.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I also like the dumb phone idea. This is a tricky topic but we need to look at the times we are in. Most of us grew up in the dark ages of analogue TV and no internet. However we were still exposed to whatever we had available at that time. Our kids are born in the digital age and with the fast-moving pace of technology now, it is good to introduce them to these things earlier rather than later. The important thing is to have parental controls on them and monitor what they do. For toddlers, tablets with games and other learning tools are good. Each stage of the child's development calls for a new and more sophisticated piece of technology to be introduced. Some eight-year-olds actually show their parents how to use some of these gadgets. Times have changed, so the earlier the better.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
That sounds like a wise way to deal with this issue, RavenLily. Kids just aren't ready for technology and responsibilities at the same time as the next person. It really *does* have to do with maturity level and that's not a bad thing... it's a very good thing when a parent takes that into consideration.

I know exactly that "zombie look" you're talking about. It's never been a problem with my daughter, but I have nieces and nephews and I've seen it in them... it's not just a lack of focus, it's like a removal from reality for a while. To me, that's scary stuff. My one niece stood with her... well, not sure what it was... but probably texting so I guess a new phone, on Christmas Day when family was gathered. Never said a word to anyone including her grandparents, cousins, even siblings... just sat there staring at that phone. She's 11 and it makes me sad.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I introduced technology as they could comprehend.. depends on the child and the technology. And the parent, I suppose. Whatever you're comfortable with.

It's extrememly important that parents not raise children with past standards and start thinking of the present and future needs... our world is technology now and it's growing at a rate we can barely keep up with. They need massive exposure to this stuff or will find themselves left behind. So many think it hinders imagination and learning, but even non-education games teach them so much. But as I said.. it depends.

When it comes to phones, my kids never asked for one, but I would have gladly given them phones if I thought they would have cared enough. I would have felt safer too, but since they didn't want phones, we just made sure to be very involved in their social lives, so we always knew where they were and that they could get in touch with us in other ways if need be. I trust my kids completely when it comes to technology (and everything else for that matter). It starts with the parents and arming our children with the tools to properly handle their worlds.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I think it really depends on your comfort level and your individual child. There's no perfect age. The most important aspect about introducing things like ipads, television, computers, etc. is to use them in a way that encourages the child to learn. If you're going to sit your kid down in front of a t.v. for 30 minutes, make it worthwhile. There are a ton of shows out there now that have really great social lessons and even introduce math. My daughter has recently shown a growing interest in using my laptop, so I've subscribed to so she can play, but it's still educational.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I think it's important to limit the amount of screen time our children get. My pediatrician tells me 1 hour is all they should have which I know is quite difficult. My youngest is 6 and loves to play on a tablet. He's becoming quite proficient at using different apps which I think is great. At his school they use Chromebooks, iPads, Smarboards so I feel good that he some background in using technology. I think he first started to use a tablet last year. My oldest son has an ipod which he got when he turned 11. He is now 13 and keeps wanting a phone but we are dead against it. That he'll have to wait until he can afford to pay for his plan.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I think that sometimes our kids introduce themselves to the technology around them and then we give in as parents seeing that they are having fun. This is okay, so long as you make sure that they can learn from whatever it is that they are playing with. I think that it is very important to introduce our children to reading books and playing with educational toys before they get a hold of our electronics and decide that this is their main source for entertainment.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I think it is important to introduce small children to some type of electronic device. Since this is the way of the world it is imperative they have a clue when it comes to technology. The first item my husband and I introduced to my 2 year old son was a tablet and with supervision he can play on his own. I made sure to only take it out when one of us is able to sit with him while he navigates and explores. He loves it and can play and learn for at least an hour. So lately we have been mixing electronics and books to make sure he starts off well rounded before preschool.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
This is something that we struggled with as parents, as I am sure every parent does this day and age. It is a tough subject, and just a reality of today that we need to deal with. I think that we waited until it just happened, and that was really around the time when school started. I remember being shocked when they had a computer assignment in the first grade. Things do change, and it is always best to approach with caution and talk to your kids.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I'm glad you brought that up about books, Sheebah7! I've always been a reader, and although I love most kinds of technology as much as the next person, I always wanted to make sure my daughter got the best of both worlds, too.. and for us it worked because not only does she love to read, but she's getting better and more knowledgeable about technology than I am.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
This is actually something I'm struggling with right now, myself! My little one is just over 1 year old, and a lot of the other mums in my mothers group are already buying their children iPads, kindle fires and so forth with "baby apps"...I feel personally like it's a bit too young yet for my little one to be using that kind of technology, but I also worry that if everyone else is getting used to it that I don't want her to be left behind!

Right now we are just trying to incorporate a lot of board books, fun toys, and interactive play - I think for us that's enough, right now. Honestly, I think I'm going to leave it until she starts asking for that kind of technology - until then, I don't know that she really needs it.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
My husband and I didn't wait long. We have a four and two year old. They both know how to use an iPad and smart phone. We have loaded learning games on both. I feel in this day in our society, that if we do not teach them early in, they will be behind when it comes to school time. Where we are from, they have even taken cursive writing being taught out of the school systems. Everything is done on computers today. I hate that the techy world may be robbing our little ones of their imaginations.

Join JustParents for free to reply


Questions needing your answer

Latest Reviews