I’m a father of two, my wife and I have found some information online but we’re still not sure about when or if we should let our little ones use our devices. It sounds bad but it would be easier to distract them, I just don’t want to make it a habit. We try not to use our phones in front of them but it’s so difficult. Any advice would be great.
Welcome to the forum @Aleks1980, Mudita have an article entitled ‘How Old Should Your Child Be Before Owning a Smartphone?’ which might be helpful. I don’t have any children myself but perhaps other members of the forum who are parents will be able to assist you.
The authoritative American Academy of Pediatrics slashed its max recommended screen time for children aged 2 to 5. The maximum recommended screen time went from 2 hours daily to 1 hour. It also recommended that parents watch “high quality programming” with their children during this hour and that children younger than 18 months get zero screen time. The previous recommendation was that children below 2 years old should not get any screen time at all.
Thanks, I have seen the blog. I will take another look though.
I’m surprised that children below 2 shouldn’t get any screen time at all but I guess it does make sense. That’s the age you want them to be quieter, the ‘terrible twos’ man! I know so many parents whose little ones are pretty much glued to their parents tablets and phones right now.
I have three kids (13, 14 and 9) and they always want to be doing something on their phones. I worry about my girls sometimes. I don’t think social media is good for their self image. They have a lot of problems because of this. My son isn’t old enough yet for a phone I think. He’s not a teenager yet.
I’ll give my thoughts below. Feel free to ask for reasoning if not apparent.
0-10yrs: No personal devices(iPods,pads,phones,Nintendo whatever). Once the oldest child is around 12 you may consider getting a family game console. The younger ones can have fun but won’t really know what they’re doing. They may like math games and what-not on a family computer too, but 30 minutes of screen time a day should be plenty(includes television if you allow it).
10-13: May be hard to keep them from getting personal devices, especially if they’ve saved up the money. An hour of screen time may be appropriate especially if it’s a family thing.
13-16: I’d let them save up the money(from allowance or birthdays) for a personal device, but it needs to be absolutely locked down. App store: maybe, safari: NO, social media: NO, music: monitored, games: monitored, and everything else: use discretion.
16-18: Once they can start driving they’ll probably need a cell-phone for emergencies but not necessarily. They will also be smart enough to get around most parental controls(or else feel oppressed). Don’t allow devices in bedrooms ever, and be an example and do the same yourself(keeps them from staying up all night or misusing devices). You can also set your router to turn itself off at night. Always lead by example so you don’t set a double standard.
18+: ‘Train a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it.’