4.14.2012

The Mommy Mindset - Kids and Laptops - #AtoZChallenge


The (new) age old question - how old is old enough for kids to start using (for lack of a better description) electronics?  Computers, laptops, iPods, iPhones, video games, oh my!  Babies should not even look at a TV till they are at least 30 years old but what about all the other screens that flash images?

Personally, my kids watch TV, play on my iPod and use the computer.  My six year old was a baby when Baby Einstein videos were all the rage and developed normally until he was introduced to Sponge Bob when he was four years old.  Okay, I kid, Sponge Bob did nothing to him besides annoy the hell out of me.  I can say that he never really showed an interest in computers or video games until he was older and in preschool.  Sure, he liked to bang on the keys but he is left handed and his motor skills were not the best so computers frustrated him until he had better control.  He still could care less about video games and we will probably be the last family on the block to have a game system.

Baby girl on the other hand, completely different.  She is two and manages the iPod preschool games better then I do at times and loves to play some games on the computer.

That said, I say the earlier you expose the kids to technology the better.  There is no avoiding the use of electronics these days and the sooner they learn to use them responsibly, the easier time they will have using it in school.

I also think that the current generation is the generation to make all the mistakes about over-sharing and cyber everything and will be the best examples of what not to do with the technology.  Thank God I waited to have kids and hopefully they will have more common sense.  I do worry a little about Corey and email though - you can read that here.

 Here is what other moms think...



Kids and laptops - what is the right age to start computer education?


LaVonne: We bought an iPad for our four year old daughter. We travel 8 months out of the year for work. I also homeschool her. We knew that the iPad would come in handy for not only the mini-van but airplane as well. She has many of her movies on it, and we have even downloaded some PBS cartoons for her. It is also proving to be handy for homeschool. I have found many reasonably priced and free apps that are perfect for preschool learning. I even wrote a post about her favorite ten apps: Long Wait For Isabella

Mary: I think the earlier the better. My two year old has been using my iPod for the last few months and I can't keep her away from the computer. She watches PBSKids and NickJr. I also let her "play" on KneeBouncers. I wish I started my son sooner, besides being left handed his motor skills are not the best and they start them in preschool using computers. I think he would have been less frusrtaed but he learned it and now that he is in first grade he is able to complete some tasks at home for extra help.

Tonya: My 5 yr old loves to play games on the computer from sites like Nick and Disney. My almost 2 yesr old has learned to pick off the keys on my laptop which he done about 20 minutes ago, so I don't think I will let him use the computer just yet!

Darcy: Ahh screen time. A hot topic! Some say kids under 2 years shouldn't be on computers, phones or even watch television. That's almost impossible in this society.. I think moderation is key. My daughter (17 months) watches some TV, plays some Kinect video games, and knows her way around smart phones and tablets. There are some fun engaging apps she plays with! She also spends plenty of time with real books, toys and outside so I think she's okay.

Gena: My three year old is an iPad/iPhone whiz. I had to earn to block the app store completely because, while I have a password that he doesn't know, I was tired of him begging to buy kid games that were in Korean. I don't know how he finds this stuff. He also watches kid shows and videos on YouTube but so far, he asks if he can watch the videos and doesn't stray too far. I'm going to have to learn how to make it where he can only watch kid videos!

Emily: I have an iPhone with a few apps that The Boy can play. I find some of the apps to be educational, and teaching him things that I wouldn't necessarily think to teach an almost three-year old. The apps come in handy when we're at a restaurant waiting for our meals, or on a longer car ride. At home, he has The LeapFrog LeapPad Tablet. I cannot say enough wonderful things about it! It is a great tool, and we limit the amount of time he can use it each day.

Ghada: My son started using my iPhone just before he was 3. It has been a life saver on long train rides, car rides and most helpful at the grocery store where he used to be prone to meltdowns around that age. It started out as just really fun games and as he gets older it has evolved into counting and spelling games - that are still fun! Lately he really likes to chill out with the iPad and this tends to be more games where he bonds with Dad - some are skill based and I think its great for hand-eye coordination. Like all things, its about moderation. I think as long as the games are age appropriate I don't have a problem with young kids using tablets. After all, we are raising a generation completely different to our own. A generation who can research just about anything on google.

Lena: I tried to keep my daughter away from all things computer for as long as I could. I didn't want her to get addicted to useless games and didn't quite understand how much educational material was out there. She was 3.5 when she started online pre-school. Now she is 3.5 and comfortably operate my iPhone, MacBook, and PC. She looks forward to it and it gives me some free time.

Thank You Moms of "Mommy Mindset": LaVonne of Long Wait For Isabella, Mary of iNeed a Playdate, Tonya of Bringing Up Hopkins, Darcy of Tales From the Nursery, Ghada of Mama goes BAM , Gena of Life With Captain Fussybuckets, Lena of Way 2 Good Life, Emily of Nap Time is My Time.

What are your thoughts on the topic?
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