Grandma bought DD a computer :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Short background: My husband is a computer geek. While I was taking a shower one day, he taught DD how to use my laptop. How he did this in ten minutes, I have no idea, but the fact remains that she learned how to use it to access

My mother, thinking that this was just the cutest thing ever, came to visit and brought with her a brand new laptop that she had purchased just for DD. My husband set it up for her, secured it and taught her how to open it, turn it on and open Starfall.

I was a bit upset at first because DD is WAY too young to be using a computer or really to be engaging in much electronic media at all, but DH and DM have both talked to me and mostly convinced me that since she's able to use it properly and knows how to read and spell a little, that I should let her have it so I made rules about limiting its use.

For those of you whose children use the computer/internet, what sorts of health risks are you concerned about? I am trying to limit her use to 30 minutes per day but she doesn't ask for it every single day. I must shamefully admit that it is the best babysitter ever when I am trying to get dinner made for everybody. I have heard things about computer use affecting children's eyesight. Are there guidelines as to what is safe computer usage for very young children? Is it different for children because their eyesight is still developing?

I know the best thing would be just to keep her away from it, but it would break her heart (not to mention DM's and DH's) and I do have to admit that her reading and spelling have drastically improved since she got it.

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#2 of 6 Old 02-06-2011, 08:23 AM
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I think knowing how to use a computer is essential for our kids. Like it or not, computers will be a huge part of their lives. I treat the computer like anything else. As long as they're getting outside, exercising, playing etc... I don't really worry about it. But, my kids don't do mindless surfing. They play educational games only. And it's not an obsession. They rarely ask to be on the computer. In fact, DH bought them Archos Tablets and they never use them.

I say to just keep an eye on it. Help her develop a healthy relationship with it, help her learn balance between computer time and all the other fun things kids should be doing.
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#3 of 6 Old 02-07-2011, 05:33 PM
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I am just a tad bit jealous that granny bought DD a computer. Wishing my mom would do that.(Or spend any  money what so every on DS) however that is not this thread.


I think as long as your DD is happy, healthy and not on the computer 24/7 she will be fine.  Knowing how to use the computer is a vital skill in this world.  My son is 10 and has his own laptop, takes online classes and runs circles around me.

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#4 of 6 Old 02-08-2011, 03:55 AM
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My bil is totally going to get dd one of those tough laptops like they send to the third world kids-- you can buy one for your kid only if you also pay for one to be sent to a kid in the third world needing one for school, pretty cool program-- anyway as soon as he thinks she's old enough. He already got one for his cousins kid. Dd totally does starfall on her own and can do sudoku on dh's computer too. I am glad she's practicing her mouse and typing skills and learning how to interact with computers. My sister even taught her to use her iphone. But a laptop is not really necessary. We haven't set firm rules for time online but talk about moderation and it works out fine. Shell do an hour one day then not go online for a month or more or shell just do a few minutes of sudoku with her dad every few days. She sees him online for work (computer programming he works from home) so it's not like some treat. I like how she says she will grow up to build web sites too smile.gif

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#5 of 6 Old 02-09-2011, 10:42 AM
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If she has the skills for starfall, your dh probably taught her how to use the computer by saying "you want to play with this? Okay, be gentle."


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#6 of 6 Old 02-22-2011, 05:33 PM
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I'm the tech coordinator for an elementary school so I try to stay current on how little kids are using computers. I'm not aware of any well-documented health risks. Keep an eye on ergonomics.


Even though my job is to support kids using technology, I really don't think little kids should be using it that much. DD is 4.5 and her screen time includes maybe an hour of Starfall a week and maybe 1-2 hours of DVDs a week. Sometimes more if she's going through a yoga kick and wanting to do her yoga DVD every day. I'm content with that. A bit more would work for some families just fine. 2 years old is pretty young for online games, even starfall, but if she can comfortably and confidently navigate it and it isn't taking time away from other more active and imaginative activities, then why not? It really is great to be able to take a shower and know your kid is engaged with something safe, enjoyable and educational. is a great site to help parents decide what media is appropriate for their families.

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