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How much technology is good?

 
How do you balance your kids exposure to technology?
By Terri Lailvaux

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
I saw this article in the Telegraph last week and it reminded me of a conversation I had with my good friend, Sonja a few months back.

Sonja works in a very technological field and has 2 boys slightly older than mine. Her whole family has Mac products from laptops to iPads to iPhones and more.  Her kids are absolute whizzes and can use tons of apps and even create their own mini websites (they are both under 13 years).

I am in a job which involves almost no technology at all apart from my faithful old Blackberry and good old Outlook! My son has no technology at all and at the age of 8 is fairly clueless about all things “techy”.

So here I am thinking what a wonderful parent I am and how I am saving my son from exposure to all this evil and all the bad people who take advantage of children online. I am saving his eyesight, his posture and so much more. Enter my friend Sonja who tells me in no uncertain terms that I am “retarding” his development and making him live in the dark ages. “Other kids will laugh it him” she tells me. “He will fall behind at school!” she convinces me. “You really need to get into the 21st century and realize that kids HAVE to be tech savvy!” she almost cries.

Hmmmmm... food for thought. So now what? As usual, the answer is probably somewhere in between our two opinions but it’s definitely something I have given a lot more thought to lately. I got out my old laptop, cleaned it up and loaded some educational games onto it. My son now plays on it twice per week and loves the maths games, puzzles and other age-appropriate learning programmes. It may still be too little to keep up with this very fast – paced world but for me it is a HUGE step forward!

What level of technology do you think children under 12 years should have access to and how often?

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