When is technology too much for a child?

This article was featured on The Rhode Show. Click here to watch this episode of The Modern Parent.

 

Should limits be set for technology entertainment?

The answer to this is yes. If we don’t set limits for our children to spend time doing other entertaining things, they will most likely choose electronics. Weather it is a video game, computer, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Children can learn from many devices, however too much of a good thing can be unhealthy. Children as well as adults need to still be in touch with reality. There needs to be a balance between electronics, leisure, entertainment and learning. Setting times of how long electronics can be on or used. Parents need to also practice this as well. By telling your child you have one hour on the computer, but you stay on it for 3 hours is not showing them responsibility or setting a limit they have to follow but not you.  If you need an hour in a half, compromise you have an hour and fifteen minutes. I have an hour and a half so they know you also will put the computer aside.

·Drawback to technology

Technology is very time consuming. Even adults can admit to this. Three hours can pass before you realize that the time has passed. Technology often teaches children instant gratification and he or she can become easily impatient, or worse have a meltdown. Years ago children learned that it is ok to wait, that learning to have patience is a good thing but this is less and less the case. Technology can be very addictive parents need to help children use devices in moderation. Not to spend half the day on cell phone, computer, games and so on. Teaching your children to space out the electronics and use their time in a more constructive way will only help prepare them with skills they will need in the future to succeed.

·Health can also play a factor in technology

More and more children are moving away from activities outside, not going down the street to play basket ball, baseball, or even just walking around. Childhood obesity is on the rise. This is not solely from technology but plays a factor in it. Children use technology to fill time in their day. Instead of going down the street to talk with a friend they would rather text one another. Go back 15-20 years ago children were on their bikes, playing down the street with a basket ball which can deprive them of natural play and exercise. Getting children out more often will help show your child how to keep busy even without cell phone or video game.

·Benefits to technology for Families

There can also be many benefits to technology as well. Moms can stay at home and work from home now that there is technology. While their baby or toddler takes a nap they can fit into their schedule work and family time without a commute. This also can lead to quality time with your child that you might not have had an opportunity to do. This could save families time and money.

·Technology can have benefits to children as well.

Children can talk and see grandparents that live far away and keep in contact. Children can take a trip around the world for a school project and actually connect with other countries in other schools. Technology has come a long way in giving children the opportunity to get a head start on how to operate and use computers. When technology is used as a leaning tool and can have great benefits.  Children learn visual reasoning, can better multitask and process information more quickly. Even your preschool child can learn simple phonics, addition, and sight words from educational games. It is all in how your family chooses to use technology in your home.

Remember to limit technology with your children; also the adults need to also limit their time. Use technology as tool rather than an instrument to fill time. Technology can be a good thing if you don’t abuse it.

 

Tracy Martin-Turgeon has been in the field of early childhood education for 22 years.  She started with The Children's Workshop in September 1999 as an assistant director for and has since served as director, regional, and currently as a VP regional overseeing seven facilities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Early Childhood education from the University of RI. on Fox Providence’s morning television show, The Rhode Show.  In her role, Tracy enjoys most supporting and helping the staff, families, and children she works with every day. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and children.