This is a question that many Australian parents are asking, as they strive to be the perfect guardian; one thing is for sure, we live in a digital age, of that there is no doubt, and in this short article, we attempt to answer the title question.
The two year old rule
Many experts say that the first two years of a child’s life is all about exploration and that should remain in the physical realm, which means no digital devices, at least not until they are able to sit unaided. Suitable toys can be found at Kiddie Country, an award-winning baby shop based in Melbourne, where you will find all kinds of playthings, all at affordable prices.
Basic touch screen devices
Young children are like sponges, they absorb new things so quickly and a 3–4-year-old can be introduced to a tablet, although this needs to be supervised, of course. A 3-year old might like to see what happens when they throw the device! Educators recommend a maximum of thirty minutes a day for a toddler using a tablet, which is enough for them to gain a basic understanding of touch screen systems.
Limit TV time
When a young child watches anything on TV, this causes a temporary halt in their exploratory process, as they are captivated by the goings-on with the big screen. Of course, there are those who would say children should never be allowed to watch TV, but in fairness, the TV can be a useful learning tool at a young age.
As a learning resource
As a child develops, their abilities increase and in a structured way, a tablet can be used as an effective learning resource; by the time a child reaches the age of 5, they would be able to turn on the device and navigate to their preferred games. Even then, use should always be supervised and the child’s understanding would develop on a structured way. Video can be a great learning resource, as this article points out.
Developing coordination and fine motor skills
Using a touch screen digital device certainly develops coordination and fine motor skills and providing there is constant adult supervision, sessions can gradually be extended up to 30-40 minutes, as a young child has a very short attention span.
All experts agree that a child of 10-11 years is old enough for device ownership; indeed many parents present their child with their own digital device much earlier, which might not be the best move. Once you reach this point, you should know all about Internet filters and apply them to prevent exposure to violence and adult content.
Born into a digital era
Any child born after the turn of the century would integrate digital tech into their life, which is something that cannot be avoided, as a parent, it is up to you to decide on limits. There is a lot of free information on the Internet to help you with IT integration, which should be controlled.
We hope that the above information helps you to integrate IT into your young child’s life.