Children and tech

I am interested in how other parents handle technology with their children. How much screen time and how do you limit? Do you give older children a (smart)phone?


My method is actually trying to not make a big deal of it.
The way I see it, the more you make it a “thing”, the more they’re going to want it. I let my little girl see screens every now and then, but I try and not let my or my husband’s phone be around too much, etc. She is little though, and when she’s older, depending on how she takes to it she’ll be allowed to use family devices (ie, a computer) sometimes, but I probably won’t do the whole smartphone thing for quite a while.

How old are your kid/kids?


@grilledcheesebb :cheese: :cheese: :cheese: :cheese: I don’t have any kids of my own. However, I have some friends who took a VERY interesting approach to raising their children when it comes to access to tech.
I’ve known them for over 10 years & they have 3 kids- so I’ve kind of witnessed the development of their kids throughout those years.
When I met them, their youngest was 3, the middle child was 7 and the oldest 12.
They made the decision that there would not be any unnecessary tech in the house. They had a TV- but it was not connected to any cable/TV provider or streaming service. Kids did not have access to smartphones until they were 17/18 (YES that late) Screen time was basically non-existent in their home.
The kids were encouraged to be creative & innovative with their time.
I have to admit, it seemed strange to me at the time, but now, I see how the kids turned out & how their minds work. It’s pretty impressive.


@catan We have an interesting article on our blog regarding this topic:


They are 11, 8, and 3. Some years ago they played Roblox (my step child plays in our house) but I stopped that, as my middle child had a lot of trouble regulating-- right after screen use comes tantrums and meltdowns. We do have a TV and they watch DVDs on it. My older child uses messenger kids to keep in touch with friends & family on a tablet, and she has a laptop she does schoolwork on. I have not allowed my 8yo this because she ends up playing games and sending a hundred messages to people.
Almost every child we know have iPads and the older ones (11-12+) have iPhones. My 8yo especially likes to bring up how everyone else has these devices and gets this much screen time, and not her.
Now my 11yo is at activities for hours which involves walking and waiting around town, so I send her with an old iPhone in case one or the other runs late or something else comes up. I do not really want her to get used to having a smartphone, even though it only has a talk and text plan, so want to give her something like the Pure instead.


This is an interesting observation. I wonder if it’s related to you taking it away (in the same way there would be a reaction if you took away a regular toy & not an electronic device. OR is it because the screen time has ended & the dopamine fix has stopped, so now they are experiencing withdrawal-type symptoms?


From what I learned, the younger the children, the less time they should spend on the screen. Kids up to 6 should have no screen time at all. This is the age when they begin to distinguish between fiction and reality. Interaction with screens before kids can master this ability will seriously interfere with their development. Only then they should be allowed to watch a carefully selected content. It is not only the matter of screens but other things like fairy tales, scary stories etc.

Our son is one and a half years old. He sometimes takes a peek at the phone when we are looking through pictures from the trip, but we would never show him a TV program or cartoons to occupy him. Handling this with other family members is another topic, as not all of them understand our approach. We couldn’t convince grandmom to turn off the TV during our visits, so we had to make an ultimatum. Either she would turn that off or we will stop visiting.

At the beginning it is easier as toddlers do not demand something that they don’t know. I wonder how we will be able to keep on the course when he will grow older. I hope that we will be able to keep him occupied with other activities so that he will have no need to look for this kind of entertainment. Likewise, I would definitely go with a feature phone as a first phone for my son.


Screens are over stimulating, and I think younger brains have a more difficult time adjusting after it’s stopped. It has always disturbed me seeing young kids staring at screens as if hypnotized, and it often does not even matter what the content is. I recently read a book called Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids, and it went into detail about the effect of screens on the developing brains, confirming my observations that these things are harmful. Even for educational purposes I do not think it’s worth having children in front of screens for hours. I have observed many children nowadays have difficulty with concentration and focusing, and while there are many factors, I do think excessive screen use is one of them. Life off the screen is dull in comparison to the stimulating screens.


I have a 5 yr old and a 10 yr old. We do not let them go online by themselves. The last 2 yrs was rough on our 10 yr old because of all the distance learning. It further cemented my belief that kids at that age have no business being in front of a screen for that long of time.


@catan This makes total sense. The dopamine triggers are there.

1 Like