To "Tech" Or Not With Our Kids

Technology is ubiquitous in our lives today - from televisions, to “smart houses” that know when you’ve left the toaster on, to cars that break for us to avoid collisions, to phones that take photos, access the internet, take voice memos, and track your heart-rate! For many of us, our work involves hours of time in front of computer screens, typing away on keyboards or using the internet.  In this digital age, raising tech-conscious and savvy kids is not an option – it’s a requirement for their success in both school and work, and, unless you work REALLY hard at it, it’s inevitable. The question then isn’t, “do we ‘tech’ with our child/ren?” but rather “when, what and how much” do we ‘tech’ with our children?” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends ZERO screen time before the age of three. Most parents today find this a challenging, if not laughable, suggestion. There are TVs in the background, older siblings watching shows, skyping with grandparents, educational videos, YouTube videos of DIGGERS (and other construction equipment) and more that our little ones are exposed to. And after the age of three, parents struggle with what content is appropriate, how much time per day is appropriate, and what the goals of using technology should be (Just communication with loved ones far away? Learning/educational opportunities? Is pure entertainment/ “babysitting” ok?). In the spirit of understanding that every family is going to make the choices that make the most sense and work for THEM, and everyone’s choices and boundaries will be different, we offer you this article on “Children and Digital Media” as a helpful guide for making these important decisions. This short one-page tip sheet includes information from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which accredits the Gan.