How young is too young for technology?

Technology like computers and tablets can be very attractive to children. Am I alone in sometimes worrying about the amount of time Lil G spends in front of a screen? For me it is just the TV screen, movies are his guilty pleasure. He hasn’t yet moved on to a tablet. I know that in the months to come (hopefully years) that will all change.

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There is one thing for sure, there will not be a TV finding it’s way in to Lil G’s bedroom for a long time. His bedroom is for sleeping right? When it comes to Lil G watching TV we are very selective about what he watches, with the majority being pre-school age appropriate, supporting his learning.

If we look at the world today it is clear that our children will be introduced to technology much earlier than we ever were. In schools they have so much technology around them and available for them to use. They will be using more social platforms than I have even heard of. That’s ok, he can teach me.

After all, if I now read my books on a kindle then is there really a problem with a toddler using a tablet? I have shielded Lil G from this world until now however as books are becoming antiquated in the classroom and as Lil G is fast approaching school, surely the younger he starts with technology the better?

I find it difficult to step away from technology myself so how can I be so hypocritical. I tweet, I browse FB, I pin, I have a You Tube channel, I have a blog, I share, I Instagram. It’s the first thing I check in a morning and the last at night, not before kisses & cuddles & a cup of tea of course!

I have seen some little ones who are glued to an IPad or a phone, in a technology bubble, separated from the world. At 3 years old I don’t believe it is healthy. Let’s talk. Let’s play. Let kids be kids. Where these children love to have their head in a tablet my little boy loves to kick a ball, use his imagination and create his own little world with his toys. Lil G naturally moves towards his toys, he doesn’t seek out his LeapPad or his V-Tech Laptop. Is this because I haven’t offered it to him enough or should I leave it for him to make the choice?

If he isn’t technology savvy by the time September 2015 arrives does this mean he will be at a disadvantage? Already he will be one of the youngest in his year. I can’t help but think that we are holding him back. Should we encourage him to interact more with technology?

Social media and technology are a part of who we are now. It is the world we live in. Don’t get me wrong, Lil G is aware of it. When he see’s me working from home, he does this…

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Some would say it’s cute, he is a little sweetheart. I’m not sure what I think. Is it cute? Or is it the harsh reality of what is to come?

As I said technology isn’t a complete mystery to him. He is accustomed to me taking a picture or a video of him, capturing each moment, often recreating the moment or at least posing for a photograph. Mr H and Lil G are very patient with me. Although they do have their limits and I do my best to put the technology away just before the ‘no more pictures’ is screamed at me.

Possibly quite controversial, but we are choosing to embrace technology. Granted I won’t be setting up a twitter page or facebook page for Lil G, that would be silly. I will however push him to understand the world of technology that little bit more in preparation for him joining School next year. We have some time, no pressure. However as the autumn approaches I will soon be consumed with school applications, I can’t help but wonder what technology will be available for primary school children?

Decision made. I am not afraid to introduce Lil G to the ways in which we communicate. I will also introduce him to writing letters, reading books and writing to pen pals. Everything I did and loved as a child. If it’s not for him and technology is then so be it. He can make that choice.

Sharing intimate words is difficult for some, a picture tells a thousand words, a text can convey an emotion you’re struggling to show. So if writing it in a text message, an email or in a blog post is the way in which he can convey his thoughts then so be it.

Lil G isn’t afraid to tell me that he loves me, show me in some form but as someone who enjoys writing things down and kept a journal for the most part of my life, I’m actually looking forward to receiving his first text, reading his first written word.

The world as we know it is evolving. The way in which we communicate has changed. It opens up a different world of learning. Sharing and caring. Embrace it I say. With the right adult support I believe that technology can be beneficial to a child’s learning. Using technology in moderation is key.

What are your thoughts?

 

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10 thoughts on “How young is too young for technology?

  1. I think it is all about balance. I love technology and like you said I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t allow them some time on the wii or iPad but I’ve seen children that are completely glued to them. I guess just like most things too much of a good thing is bad for you!

    Thanks for linking up to #TBTL Hope to see you this week!

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  2. I think technology can be great and my kids love playing on a tablet and the Cbeebies games are fab too! As long as it’s monitored, it’s fine! Lovely post! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

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  3. Really thought provoking post and one which has no real researched evidence to back any claim up, because it is still so much in its infancy. For every research paper that says you should not allow any child under 3 to participate in any screened gaming activity because it increases the risk of ADHD, you will find one that encourages it because a small group of subjects improved their vocabulary by 31% in 2 weeks playing a schoolyard app on the iPod.

    It’s confusing, but it’s no less confusing than when my mum used to say to me “Why do you need one of this mobile what do you call its? Why don’t you just go and knock on their door and speak?” But now we all have them. As you point out, our children today are being born into a completely new generation where this is the norm, we were, unfortunately, the transition generation of the 80s/90s/00s that saw the birth and explosion of the technological boom so are apprehensive of what it will do.

    I read a peer reviewed journal once that completely rubbished the notion of eyes going bad from sitting too close to the television because since the cathode ray tube has been removed, the danger is no longer there due to the way the light is emitted, but my kids grandparents will still tell them off for being within 15 feet of the TV.

    As long as the exposure is controlled enough to the point where the child is not a slave to the technology and as you say the old school methods of written word and actual play are still encouraged, I can genuinely see no issue with letting them enjoy the technology they are so fortunate to be privileged to use. If they are kept shielded from it, it will only be to their detriment as things such as coding, communication and information systems and general computing are becoming a key part of school and workplace education; as a direct result, they will be behind their peers when it really matters the most.

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    • Thank you for taking to time to read and then reply! I agree it is very thought provoking. I am guilty of asking George to step back from the Television. Moving forward I am happy to allow the technology to breach his play. I am still happy that I have until now shielded his eyes. He has been very content using his imagination. Interestingly his nursery report came home yesterday and it stated that he really enjoys playing with the computer. I’m keen to find out more about this. Have a lovely weekend. KA

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  4. Ah lovely post My girl uses the tablet ever so often as there are some great education games on. She’s 3. They also use the computer at pre-school. As long as it’s monitored it’s OK. With the two of them it is a good way of settling my girl a bit whilst the boy is napping. A bit of downtime for her. They are also essentials for planes and car journeys! But I agree with keeping them little. Alas they will grow up in a world very very different to us xxx

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    • Its hard to know what to do the best. Perhaps if I had offered it to him more he would have used it. Oddly he has come home with his summer report today from Kindergarten and it actually says that he enjoys using the computer. I think i’ll ask more about it tomorrow as this could be the start for him and I want to embrace it and help him. Hes such a movie buff that he uses the iphone in the car to watch a movie on a long journey, maybe that will change! x

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  5. I often think about this as well. Our son is 3 and he loves to be outside on his scooter/bike or playing football etc, he also loves books and comics. I am desperately trying to postpone his inevitable use of technology as I think he is still too young. He already knows how to use my iPad and my iPhone as he see’s me using them, and kids learn so quickly. He recently asked me if we could ‘Talk to Grandad on FaceTime’ although technology has great benefits, I do limit our sons time in front of the TV or computer/ tablet screen. I really don’t think he is missing out on anything. To be honest, I need to lead by example and un- plug myself ! 🙂

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