87 votes

Limit access to screens (phone, computer) to my kids, whereas I benefitted from "no limit" during my own childhood

My own upbringing and later career has followed much the same trajectory as you describe, so this is something I too have pondered quite a bit. But as you've already noted, we are indeed no longer in ...
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38 votes
Accepted

Too much computer?

Let me expand on my pithy comment above. It sounds like your son has taken an active interest in programming. I too spent "hours and hours" doing exactly the same sorts of things that it sounds like ...
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25 votes

Limit access to screens (phone, computer) to my kids, whereas I benefitted from "no limit" during my own childhood

My situation is very similar to what you describe: we have multiple kids — one of whom is 9, one slightly older, and one slight younger — I grew up with mostly "unlimited" computer access (...
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22 votes

Limit access to screens (phone, computer) to my kids, whereas I benefitted from "no limit" during my own childhood

In addition to all the other answers, I'd like to concentrate on the addictive behavior you described. Gaming addiction is just as real as drug addiction and very dangerous because many games, ...
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  • 521
19 votes

Limit access to screens (phone, computer) to my kids, whereas I benefitted from "no limit" during my own childhood

The screen is not the problem. I believe we're dealing with a XY problem here. Surely screens are damaging our children irreparably. Breathe. Relax. Grab a cup of tea and consult the wikipedia list ...
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17 votes

Son threatens to fail high school if we don't let him keep his laptop

What should I do? Do not engage in a power struggle with your son. It's a lose-lose situation; it will cause him to resent you if you win, and it will cause untold damage for both him and you if he ...
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16 votes

Is a laptop a good gift for 9 year old who shows interest in programming?

A laptop is a good option, but the downsides are that it's quite expensive and usually rather fragile. (And kids will use them to play games instead of program.) I'd suggest you instead pick up a ...
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12 votes

Limit access to screens (phone, computer) to my kids, whereas I benefitted from "no limit" during my own childhood

As you say in your question, the beneficial part of your access to computers was your early exposure to programming and other productive computer skills, and the part that you are concerned about is ...
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  • 219
10 votes
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Monitoring a computer-literate teen

Step 1: talk to him about this. He's 16, which means he's fairly close to being an adult and probably at least somewhat responsible. Let him know what you think is acceptable and what is not, and ...
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  • 8,250
10 votes

Is a laptop a good gift for 9 year old who shows interest in programming?

Short answer, yes but ... (Disclaimer - I am a programmer, and for a hobby I run a video production team composed primarily of teens and preteens ) Yes, it can be a good investment, but for half ...
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  • 3,639
10 votes

Son threatens to fail high school if we don't let him keep his laptop

You're saying you want to change your mind and take the computer back, but I'm assuming from your open question (and from that it in general seems like a sensible thing to do) that you'll also be open ...
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9 votes

Is a laptop a good gift for 9 year old who shows interest in programming?

Please discuss your intention with his parents first I’m sure whatever you choose to get your nephew will be amazing and life-changing in all sorts of ways, but please be sure to discuss your plans ...
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  • 4,222
9 votes

What are age appropriate projects for 5-year-old interested in electronics?

I've found myself in very similar situations with my 4 year old son. He's also fascinated by electronics, and anything mechanical. We'll start projects together, but invariably after a while I'm ...
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  • 3,683
9 votes

Monitoring a computer-literate teen

I've always been the computer geek of my family and it was probably easier in the days when we only had one computer per household (I have three of my own now. And spares!). I've not been a parent, ...
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8 votes
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Visual stimulation videos for infants - good or bad?

There are several reasons not to do that: Infants have very simple minds that can easily be overloaded by too much information. A psychedelic, high-contrast video can do more harm than good. Infants ...
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  • 1,171
8 votes
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Are these videos too intense for a baby (10 months)

Love the video, but I don't think that strobe flashing is good for him. The American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation is: Avoid digital media use (except video-chatting) in children younger ...
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6 votes

What are age appropriate projects for 5-year-old interested in electronics?

Snipping and bending wires is a fun game in and of itself. :) If you want to find projects where he can actually build and modify simple electronics himself (with some help from you), your best bet ...
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6 votes

How to get a 15-year-old started with a computer?

I think the first thing he should become familiar with is typing. Obtain a typing tutor program - in the US "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" is a common one for example - and have him practice enough ...
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5 votes

Monitoring a computer-literate teen

I may be able to bring a new perspective to this discussion. Although I am not a parent, I was a child prodigy on the computer. I taught myself HTML when I was 8, and I learned tons of super useful ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Help me understand the attraction of Instagram, please

Instagram is essentially a social network, with an emphasis on sharing photographs. (Think of Facebook, but instead of saying "just had a delicious burrito for lunch," you'd post a picture ...
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5 votes

Visual stimulation videos for infants - good or bad?

Baby Einstein, which used to hold 90% of the "Educational" video market, was forced to offer refunds (nytimes link, reuters link) and change their advertising to reflect that their products ...
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5 votes
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Up to how many hours of screen time is OK for a teenager for educational purposes?

I spent much more than 2h15m programming when I was a teenager (not every day, but I bet there were weekends where I hardly did anything else). Sometimes I programmed late into the night (my mom was ...
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4 votes

First keyboard: Qwerty or Dvorak?

Premature optimization is the root of all evil and perfect is the enemy of good. You are optimizing a toddler for typing speed. Why go halfway? Drop dvorak, get a chorded keyboard and teach gregg ...
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  • 374
4 votes

Does it hurt my baby (developmentally) if she watches while I'm on the computer?

I've asked this question about TV, but this seems a little different. According to Brain Rules For Baby: How to raise a smart and happy child from Zero to Five TV for kids under the age of 2, screen ...
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  • 3,115
4 votes

How should screen time be treated to balance the pro of education resources on the internet and con of decreased involvement in other activities?

I am lumping computer, tablet, and smartphone usage roughly together in this answer, both because it's rare for a child to be using only one of these devices, and because their applications (internet, ...
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4 votes

By brother is lonely and has turned to the internet to fill his social craving. How do I tell my parents without betraying his trust?

I see no evidence that anyone has done anything wrong that needs fixing yet. Going on the internet is not something that requires "cleaning up". Maybe his family should work harder to make sure that ...
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  • 3,622
4 votes

Limit access to screens (phone, computer) to my kids, whereas I benefitted from "no limit" during my own childhood

Like others in this thread I had a similar upbringing to you. When I was younger (say early primary school), I had unrestricted use on the (only) computer in the house. There was a slow and ...
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3 votes

Is a laptop a good gift for 9 year old who shows interest in programming?

I'd avoid a laptop mostly because its portability easily translates to droppability/breakability. A desktop is both less expensive and significantly more stable. (Our first "kids" laptop died by ...
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  • 22.5k
3 votes

How to deal with sibling/child who doesn't contribute and is stressing out their parents whom they live with?

This answer may not be popular but my immediate thought when reading over your problem is to simply do nothing. You are in complete and total control of just one person, and that person is you. It ...
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