During the school year, children will inevitably be dependent on technology for homework. But finding the right balance can be difficult. We asked Dr. Kristin Carothers of the Child Mind Institute for the best practices.
Make a set location
Establishing a specific location for screen time can enable parents to oversee what their children are exposed to and monitor “‘friending’ or connecting with other people using technology sources since there are major safety implications,” Carothers says.
Set time limits
“Depending on age, two hours of screen time or less per day is a good standard,” she says. “If it’s educational, you might give more time. If it’s simply a leisure game and you notice your child has difficulty transitioning, provide less time.” Screen time is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians for children under age 2.
Use tech to aid learning
“Technology should be used as a supplement to other forms of learning, such as reading books, engaging in real-time experiments and visiting museums,” she says.
Tech needs by age
Want to invest in technology for your child but don’t know what to get? Carothers shares her picks:
Preschool and elementary: “Desktop computers or tablets that are specially designed for young children [that] have products and apps that are safe for young Internet users and contain academic content.”
Middle and high school: Google Chromebooks and Mac laptops “have lots of good options for academic learning … are easily portable and have a number of programs students may use in college,” like Windows or Microsoft Office.