Monday, November 11, 2013

What age did you introduce your child to technology?

I remember the evening very clearly: We were out with my in-laws at a very popular Chinese food chain restaurant. It was packed with people and from the time we arrived until the time we got our food, it took almost two hours.

And my son, who was only about 22 months old at the time, was quiet and contented when the food finally arrived - all because he was playing an animal noise matching game on my phone. 

Did I hand him my phone right away? No. We talked, played hand games, colored, read a book, folded paper into origami shapes, told him a story, played with the fleet of cars that lives in my purse and about a dozen other things to keep him occupied before I finally handed over my phone. I do not regret that moment - it kept him calm in a loud and difficult situation.

After that night, I started to wonder if he was too young to have access to technology. So, I was interested to read that 38% of children under the age of 2 use mobile media. Yes, I am aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents should bar all screen time - including mobile devices - for children under 2, but I also recognize that the world is rapidly changing. When my son does get his eyes on a screen - be it television or a video game on my computer - it is almost always educational and it is under parental supervision. (And I am trying really hard for it to not be my phone.) Do I slip up? Of course.

The important thing is that my husband and I discussed media use in our household and came up with a policy that works for us, and I encourage you to do the same. As our son has gotten older, the rules have changed a bit. But as long as we communicate those changes to him, I think we are doing OK. 

What about you? What age did you introduce your child to technology? And what is the policy in your household for screen time?


  1. I have a two year old daughter and this has been a major point of discussion in my household. I understand that in today's society everything is becoming technology based... but I am not loving it. I want my daughter to be a kid and to play using her imagination. Therefore, I do not give her access to phone or computer games. Does that mean that she doesn't ever get to play them... of course not. She ocassionally plays on other people's devices. I am okay with that because it is rare. I feel that as a direct result of my choices for her right now, she has a vivid imagination and plays with "real" toys. I really enjoyed reading your philosophy on this topic... Thanks!

    Please feel free to stop by and follow along with my family... <3

    1. Thanks for sharing your philosophy, Jessica! I agree - technology is getting unavoidable so we need to have a plan in place for how our children interact with it. I look forward to checking out your blog!

  2. My daughter is two today. Yay, princess! She plays on both the iPhone and the iPad. This became necessary in our household as we are often on relatively long road trips to see the grandparents. Most of her games are educational and she is very intelligent. But she is also well-developed in other areas. She loves being outside, playing with other kids, singing, dancing, "reading", playing with toys and watching animals. Technology works in our house :-) Feel free to check out if you get the chance.

    1. Hi, Kalonda! A belated happy birthday to your princess! I agree that on long car trips it is wonderful to have something educational and engaging in the car. I'll stop by and check out your blog!