Technology and Kids, What Age is the Right Age?

When I was pregnant, one of the things I said was “zero screen time” for the Belly Monster.

Yeah, right.

Belly Monster, like lots of American kids, gets a fair amount of screen time. I need background noise, and by habit I leave the TV on way more than I should. Lately it’s been the 80s music station, but it often will be the news or house remodeling shows on HGTV.

Teddy and I also let her play with our phones occasionally. I know what all the studies say, but I also fear her being behind her peers if she doesn’t know how to use technology. So she gets phone time in Kids Mode. Not everyday, but it happens.

But when I try to think about her someday getting her own phone or computer, I just can’t picture it. What is the appropriate age? I’m leaning towards middle school, but the world changes so fast, who knows? Will they be using tablets in her elementary school? Will I have to teach her how to use a library, or do they still do that in school? Some schools don’t teach cursive writing anymore! And they focus on typing over writing, even though note-taking through writing is proven to be a better learning tool.

Anyway, this post struck a chord with me.

At what age would you think it’s appropriate for a child to receive a tablet or similar technology? Would you return an unwanted gift?


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