87

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 the 90's. I'd argue the technological progress in the intervening decades have rendered that frame of reference obsolete. Unlimited access to devices was by ...


71

This is anecdotal but... Throughout highschool my life was: wake-up, go to school, come home, game, go to bed, repeat. As I developed other hobbies, I did those instead of gaming. As money to buy things (new games, clothing, etc) became important to me, I did chores around the house and kept my grades up (an A at the end of the term was worth $5, a B+: $4, B:...


71

At six months old, the key is to talk a lot, and to give the baby lots of opportunities to explore their environment. One approach that worked well for us was to follow the Montessori approach to organizing our house and what our children played with. One example for that approach is on this site, which gives a good overview of the concepts. Key things to ...


61

Let's recap the question from a more objective viewpoint... as right now the premise for the actions which have been taken seem to be incorrect (at best.) The boy has been behaving well academically which rightly deserves to be rewarded. He installed malware on his computer in an attempt to install video games, then denied doing so when confronted. It ...


59

First, setting some baselines. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limited, but not zero, screen time for most children above 2. Under 2, and in particular under 18 months, no screen time other than video chat (Facetime/Skype/etc.). For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 ...


41

Too many stimuli can be harmful to a baby. Here's a few articles 1, 2 - or just google overstimulation and check for yourself. In general it is not recommended for children below 18 months to have any exposure to "screens" of any kind, be it smartphone or TV or console 3, 4. Google "screen time for children". Worrying about IQ at the age ...


41

Turn off the TV and interact with your child If your IQs are so high, use that intelligence. You can't make a child more clever. That's built in, by nature. What you want are skills they can develop through nurture. You can help a child to build language skills by constantly interacting with them, talking to them, singing to them, reading to them. The more ...


38

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 your son is doing (though I didn't have the luxury of the internet back then!). Rather than this work being a waste of time, it's actually building the ...


36

From a more general angle. We allow kids in the family to use tablets, but of course this is under supervision. There is a dedicated docking station where the tablets are. Tablets must be used within the room where the docking station is located. Tablets must be returned to the dock when they are not in use. Exceptions are made, and are considered ...


30

Are you looking at an addiction, or at a symptom, or just a hobby? First, "video game addiction" is not recognized as a disorder. Unlike gambling or alcoholism — where addiction can be real and very tangible — gaming addiction is heavily disputed, the tools for trying to diagnose it are crude and problematic, and in any case addiction — that is to say a ...


25

Beofett's answer is excellent, but I would like to add a few personal observations which were too long for a comment. Youtube, specifically, can be very hard to control. Our toddler (3.5 years) does get to watch stuff there, but you have to be vigilant. Examples: Looking at toys helicopters, easily browsed to real helicopters, then to some wartime reporting ...


25

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 (though for me it was the 80s, so no interwebs — I didn't even have a modem); and I, too, struggle with the disparity between what I was allowed to do (or should ...


22

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, especially "harmless" free of charge mobile apps, are specifically designed to be as addictive as possible. Teenagers (which is an age your son is ...


21

Do not show videos to infants. The current consensus in the scientific community is that for small children, the effects of screen time are overwhelmingly negative. There are few, if any, positive effects. REFERENCES: For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New ...


20

I'm married to a Speech Therapist who owns her own clinic, so while she's really the best to answer your question, I can tell you from my observations and discussions with my wife that your child would not likely qualify as "delayed" based on your description. We also have a 2 year-old who's speech developed slower than his older sister's so that also gives ...


19

Yes, you absolutely should Your boys are trying to share something valuable and important with you. I doubt you'd be this worried about it if it wasn't digital - what would you do if they wanted to build lego with you? Or draw, or paint? This is the same thing. They want you involved in their activities. I view screen time as more of a necessary evil than ...


19

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 of moral panics. We've been worrying about the effects of new evil stuff on our children since forever. Listening to the devil music (Blues, Jazz, Rock and roll,...


18

The primary reason "screen time" is considered bad for children is that, even when somewhat interactive as games are, it does not stimulate their brain as much as other things do. Kids need all sorts of different activities - physical ones to help develop coordination and strength, social ones to help develop social awareness and social skills, they need to ...


17

The arguments against television are based on providing too much stimulus to a young mind, so putting a toddler in front of a blinking, flashing, huge screen for an hour is not recommended. A ten-minute Skype call on a laptop screen is different because the image doesn't change very much. I think that this is similar to watching a person work at a computer....


17

I completely agree with you about it being the challenge for this generation. In my classroom I used to have to teach low-functioning children how to do tasks and to increase their attention span. I am not saying your child has a intellectual problem, but that the way to increase attention span might work for this as well. We used a three token system. ...


16

What should you do? Nothing, you are not the parent, you just gave a gift that was deemed appropriate by the parents. You wrote yourself that you didn't have a Nintendo when you were little but all your friends had one. Now imagine him not being able to play "Pokemon GO" while all his friends can play it. I think it is the responsibility of the parents to ...


16

There is this German psychiatrist, Prof. Manfred Spitzer, who aggregates research with regards to children and digital device usage, and, inspired by the findings, has written a book of how, he claims, smart phone usage "makes children dumb" (by negatively impacting the developing brain). His angle is basically that, during developmental phase (and he means ...


16

Just to add some context to the reasons why screen time is bad for babies, and to reasurre you that this isn't some "old people think technology is bad"... Developmentally, under 18 months babies don't equate what's on the screen to real life equivalents. That means they can't learn effectively from screens; they need physical stimuli and social ...


16

Above all else, let her play. In my opinion there is way too much focus on academics in the early years these days, and not enough on creativity and play which are integral to how a child learns about the world around it. Let her play, be creative, use her imagination. These things will serve her phenomenally well later in life (problem solving, deductive ...


16

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that no amount of screen time is appropriate for a child of that age. From their report on Children and media: For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality ...


15

On the other hand ... I was making my living as a freelance graphic designer when my children were small (way pre-iPad), and was constantly reading warnings against letting children spend too much time on the computer. I read to them a great deal, and did other activities with them as a "stay-at-home mom." But since I was actually making my living at home, a ...


13

If you want to encourage his development, spend time with him and talk to him like you would an adult. Speak to him as though he can understand everything you are saying. If you need to go to the gas station or grocery store, take him with you and explain what is going on while you're doing it. Let him hear you speak with other people. He may not like ...


13

Great question. There are several different reasons one might want to limit TV time for kids, and understanding those reasons can help support informed decisions about when --- and how --- to let kids watch TV. There are three potential problems with TV time: TV replaces other activities that may be more valuable Some TV content may not be appropriate for ...


12

Most of the answers here appear to be about screen time, but it's also important to remember that YouTube is not designed to be a safe space for a child. For example, my son likes to watch Minecraft videos. Very often these have a very unsuitable adult voiceover, plus optional heavy metal soundtrack. Do you want some random teenager swearing and talking ...


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