Do We Reveal Too Much About Our Kids Online? When Should You Get Your Tablets for preschool age a Cell Phone?
From the time they can grasp an object in their hands, children reach for electronic gadgets of all kinds, particularly our cell phones and computers. A smartphone is a high-tech cell phone that runs its own operating system, allowing the user to talk, email, surf and take high-resolution photos and videos. A tablet computer does everything your laptop does but in a small, portable flat form with a touch screen. Here are some helpful tips on when and how to introduce your child to one or both of these technologies. Wait Until Preschool Just because toddlers like to push buttons and watch videos does not mean they are ready for a computer.
Experts recommend waiting until your child is at least preschool age. Your child may be ready sooner or later, depending on the level of supervision required. Jeannie Galindo, supervisor of instructional technology for the Manatee County School District in Florida. In an unsupervised environment, I wouldn’t recommend a smartphone or tablet purchase for a child until at least between the ages of 11 and 13. Parental Guidance Suggested Experts recommend parents be very involved in their child’s experience with electronic devices, especially at a young age.
You can help your child get more out of a smartphone or tablet by sharing in the experience. However, doctors warn not to underestimate the learning power of reading a book with your child or spending time exploring the outdoors. Parents need to be models for their children. Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics on communications and media. I recommend no more than two hours for a high school student per sitting if the gaming is the focus of the interaction.
However, if the student is using the device as a productivity tool that time would obviously be greater. As your child gets older, you can allow for more freedom. Galindo suggests using a gradual release model where you allow the child more time with the device as he proves he can handle it. Also keep in mind the risk of eye problems that too much screen time could cause. Content Matters Whether you opt for a smartphone through your wireless carrier, or for many of the other tablets that continue to hit the market, there will be plenty of kid-friendly content to consider.