There is still a great deal of controversy over whether or not putting a smartphone or tablet into the hands of a child is good or bad for them. The truth is, there are both advantages and disadvantages, so both sides of the dispute have valid arguments. However, when carefully monitored, the benefits can far outweigh any disadvantages because technology is the way of the future. 

As with anything else in life, it’s in how you use it. It isn’t the technology that is dangerous but rather how kids are allowed to use it. That leads to one of the primary reasons why children should be introduced to technology at an early age.

Begin with Parental Controls

Since you want to restrict how kids are allowed to use their tablet or smartphone, especially when online, the very first thing you should do is set up a user account on that device and then set parental controls. In this way you can restrict access to sites and content you don’t want them viewing.

Each device will have specific instructions for accessing settings where you will find parental controls. If your child has an educational tablet with a bumper and pre-installed educational games and apps, you may not need to restrict access unless they will also be doing activities online.

Limit the Amount of Time They Spend on the Device

One of the issues many parents have with kids using smartphones and tablets is because they are allowed unfettered time online without adult supervision. If you get them in the habit at a very young age to have scheduled time on their devices, it becomes a habit. 

Yes, you will probably still face rebellion in their pre-teen and teen years, but at least you can ensure that they get sufficient social interaction before they have developed conversational reading and writing skills. In their pre-school years they have recess and play time but as they grow and learn to read and write, you can begin teaching them how to interact safely online.

Don’t Turn Them Loose Too Quickly

Up until this point we have pointed out the importance of supervising and monitoring their activity on their educational tablet or other smart device. Failing to do this would be like putting someone behind the wheel of a car before they learned to drive. Both are equally dangerous in more than one way. It cannot be reiterated enough that in the very beginning it will take a great deal of attention from you. Not only will you need to show them how to use their device, but you can also spend some quality time together as you show them how to identify the numbers and letters floating across the screen.

Information technology truly is the way of the future and if you introduce your children to the wonders of the science, you can expect great things from the generation as it comes of age. Make the experience fun for them while limiting the amount of time they spend on their device. Bear in mind that young children are not ready to join social sites or chat rooms, so do make sure they have ample play time (socialization) with other kids or family members. If you teach them to respect the technology, they can put it to good use and that is all parents can hope for with any of life’s lessons.