Many parents wonder at what age they should introduce their child to technology and gadgets and there are two main theories about this. One group of people think that young children should be around mobile phones and tablets as soon as they show an interest, while other parents prefer to wait until the child is 5-6 years old.
A child of up to 3 years old is still trying to explore the environment around them, and perhaps interacting with digital devices is not a good idea at such a young age. That is the opinion of many pedagogists, who maintain that physical interactions should be all the young child experiences, at least until they are 5 or 6 years old.
It is not recommended to hold a digital device like a smartphone to a child’s ear, and there is some concern in the scientific community and they advise you to strictly monitor young children with digital devices.
Early Learning Programs
When you enroll your child in an international kindergarten in Bangkok, they would be exposed to digital screens when watching cartoons, and at this age, many parents allow their kids to watch a cartoon on their smartphone before sleep. A child of 4-5 years can be allowed to play some interactive games on a tablet, as long as the sessions are short (around 15-20 minutes) and they do not hold the screen too close to their eyes.
As your child gets older, you would naturally give them more freedom regarding their leisure activities, however, you do need to monitor the content for suitability. There are online games that involve violence and first-person war games in which the players kill other players, and this is obviously not healthy for children. There are very educational computer programs that make learning fun and they can be used for short sessions, but nothing longer than 30 minutes.
Everything in Moderation
Like anything else in our lives, there is a place for technology, however, young children should be closely monitored when using a computer or tablet, and if mum or dad keeps their eyes on the content, the child should develop naturally and technology would be a part of their lives, but not at the expense of cognitive or physical development.
Learning of all forms should be encouraged in children and there are some very educational platforms online, which can help the child in many ways. Try to avoid letting your child get too carried away with computer games, as they can become quite addictive, and with a mix of healthy and non-violent content, your child’s development will not be negatively impacted by technology.
If your child is currently at kindergarten or day care, ask the teacher about the use of technology in the classroom and she can advise you regarding content and the frequency of using a digital device.