As I post a series of blog posts on ways to use the i-Phone, the i-Pod Touch, and the i-Pad with children, I worry that I am going end up promoting too much screen time for children who are already vulnerable to spending too much time on the computer. In an effort to guard against this, I will direct your attention to an article that I wrote a few years ago on the topic of setting rules for computer use. These rules apply to the new ity bity computers too so I encourage parents to take a little time and think through how they are going to manage a new even more addictive computer in the home. Here at the clinic, we have a helpful rule that parents of young children should consider--The grown-up holds/manages the computer. Some children are unwilling to accept this rule initially and we calmly put the iPad away if this is hard for the child. So far, all children had come to accept this limitation quickly.
Rules for the Computer
1. Choose when your child will use the computer intentionally and, just like television, sparingly. The computer has the potential to be wonderfully educational and the potential to be terribly harmful to your child’s social development. Here is a software program that you can install that can help you set limits and eliminate the arguments: Software Time