Can’t find time to read all of those parenting books and magazines? Don’t have a lot of mommy friends to bounce ideas off of? Kids go crazy every time you get on the phone to ask a friend their advice? No problem; I’ll do the work for you!
Every Thursday I bring you kid-tested parenting tips for a specific parenting challenge “from the mouths of moms.” This week I asked out mamas how their kids use technology. Then hear their tips for managing children and technology.
Children and Technology
1. Teach Technology Basics
“We also have a snap circuits set that is a great way to learn about the basic construction of technology – the kids use that with my husband, and my 6yo is just getting to where she can put some circuits together on her own.” MaryAnne from Mama Smiles
2. Build on Current Learning
“My son loves his iPad time! I download educational games for concepts he is mastering like ABCs and numbers. I try to offer it to him when I am cooking or doing chores and there is nobody else to play with.” Amy from Z is for Zel
3. Consider Technology Another Tool
“Television has been such an amazing learning tool in our house. As useful as all the baking, crafting, playing, reading, painting, open-ended play, discovery, one-on-one time, flashcards, and all the other learning and “quality” family time we spend.” Chrissy from The Outlaw Mom (Read more about Chrissy’s philosophy on TV!)
4. Take eBooks on the Go
“We enjoy reading books on our Nook or my phone. This is especially handy when we are travelling. We can take a whole library in those little devices. I also like interactive story apps, some music apps (pianos and drums), and some educational games.” Trisha from Inspiration Laboratories
5. Connect with Family and Friends
“We will often sit together and look at pictures of family on the tablet or computer. We live far away from them, so it helps him recognize and remember the people that love him.” Amanda from Dirt and Boogers
6. Add Kid-Friendly Bookmarks to the Toolbar
“I set limits on time and what JDaniel does. He uses the iPad to play games I have downloaded and to watch PBSKids.org. He can go to PBS Kids online. We have it save to the tool bar for him.” Deirdre from JDaniel4’s Mom
7. Find Free Computer Games
“I used it more when we only had two kids, and before my oldest started reading. Now my 4yo and 3yo mostly just play together, and the 6yo reads books. But I did write a post about my favorite free educational computer games for kids.” MaryAnne from Mama Smiles
8. Do Internet Research
“We use the internet to look up recipes, music, research animals, artists, cultures, etc. … We are trying to teach them that the internet is a valuable educational resource, as well as a place to play.” Jennifer from Kitchen Counter Chronicles
9. Take a Screen-Free Week
“We use technology for fun and learning … preferably both at the same time! I’ve noticed a tendency for our ‘screen-time’ to creep higher and higher over time … so every few months we take a screen free/reduced week to reduce our use!” Laura from Play Dr. Mom
10. Set Daily Limits
“My kids watch about an hour of TV a day unless we have a movie night. They don’t have any kind of handheld video game thing but they have an iPad and a Wii at their dad’s house. He tells me he limits screen time to 2 hours a day or less. I hope he sticks to that!” Danielle from 52 Brand New
11. Use a Timer
“My girls are 6 and 9 years old, they are allowed to play online for 20 minutes a day. We set the timer and off they go.” Jennifer from Kitchen Counter Chronicles
12. Get It Out of the Way Early In the Day
“I watch 2 TV shows with my 2yr old son every morning, then the TV goes off for the day.” Amanda from Dirt and Boogers
13. Increase Time As Kids Get Older
“I closely monitor media time for my kids and keep it low. No media for under two, and after that it is in short spurts. I think balance is good. We spend most of our day playing outside, but considering we live in a technological world I don’t want to keep my kids away from it completely. I have a few apps on my laptop and iPhone that my older two boys use upon occasion. I’m sure as they get older that time will increase. For now I prefer a multi sensory, multidimensional approach to learning.” Allison from Train Up A Child
14. Don’t Worry – It All Balance Out in the End
“The amount of screen time we have depends on what’s going on. Right after my 1 year old was born, my 4 year old had more screen time, and now, with the weather so beautiful, we do less. Also, when my older son is sick, we do a lot of movies snuggled under the covers.” Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing
How do your kids use technology? Do you set limits of technology or just go with the flow?
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