Technology A-Z
The Internet
Tech Hardware
Tech Software
Video Games
Protecting Your Children
Getting Help
The Online Mom Network

Learn about The Online Mom Network
Join The Online Mom Network
How Do I Become An Online Mom?

The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

The problem with the media-free household...

As a regular reader of tech blogs and parenting sites, I frequently come across the strongly-held views of the "no-tech parent". These are moms and dads that have decided that nothing good can come from their kids spending hours playing "mindless" video games or surfing the web.

Here's a comment on the recent Kaiser Family Foundation study that was posted on the web site of regional TV station:

"I find it mind-boggling that parents could expose their children to various forms of media for nearly 8 hours a day. I go to friends' houses and family gatherings and I see these pasty-faced kids glued to their iPhones and gaming devices, not talking with adults or each other as they frantically hammer away at the controls. My husband and I have taken a conscious decision to ban all such devices from our own house. Despite the occasionally complaint, my kids are healthy, happy and excellent conversationalists. I only wish more parents would follow our lead."

The writer doesn't say what age her kids are. Perhaps they are tweens – tech-savvy enough to know what they're missing but young enough that the "occasional complaint" hasn't turned into outright rebellion.

Despite my misgivings about this parent's approach, part of me is a little jealous. Think about those wonderful screen-free days, where you don't have to worry about parental controls or what inappropriate video they just downloaded from iTunes.

But then reality creeps in. What does your child say when all her friends are on Club Penguin? What happens at school when it's time for computer lab and he's so far behind everyone else? What do you tell them when they are the only ones at camp without an iPod?

That's the problem with the media-free household. You may be able to maintain the no-tech bubble within the walls of your own home but, unless you home school and cancel all outside activities, the bubble will burst by the time they reach 4th grade.

I suspect our mom from the TV web site is beginning to realize the limitations of her no-tech zone. Her plaintive hope that more parents follow her lead suggests that her go-it-alone approach is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

Trying to shield children from technology is a bit like keeping them away from water. Sure, you may be able to prevent accidents when they're young, but at some stage they are going to have to learn how to swim. By all means restrict the amount of time they spend with screens and gadgets, but a complete ban will end up doing more harm than good.

How do you feel about a no-tech policy for younger kids? Does it help or hinder their development? Share your thoughts with The Online Mom!

Comment by Jaqui Kanuk, posted 4/22/2011, 4:00 PM:

Everything in moderation. I feel that social media is the current form and future in socializing and is a skill that needs to be learned along with face to face conversation. When I look at my 10 year old son's FB page there is a tremendous amount of interacting and discussion (at their age level) and there have been many teaching moments (see the article about this posted this week). This is in addition to these kids spending all day together at school. The world is different.
Comment by Claudia Yepez, posted 3/22/2011, 6:24 PM:

There is certainly a time for everything. I do not think children under the age of 13 should have an iphone, ipod or even a portable computer. At this age, they still need to acquire social skills, they need to be able to sustain a conversation and to relate to their natural world. We cannot stop technology from being a part of our lives, it is just ridiculous. We can, however, teach our children to use technology with measure, with a purpose in mind and not just to isolate ourselves. Thank you.
Comment by Ellen Lebowitz, posted 7/30/2010, 10:41 AM:

I think parents who "shield" their kids from technology are irresponsible,lazy and denying their kids a future. Kids who have no access to computers, for example, have no chance of competing for anything in a digital world. They have little access to the information available on the web; they have limited research tools and generally speaking are left out of the culture. There are very few,if any jobs that do not include some sort of computer proficiency. Thank you, Ellen Lebowitz
Thank you for submitting your comment. Your comment will appear on the site after it has been reviewed by site moderators!
Post a Comment:
Comments (max 500 characters):

Permalink | Print | Email

Share this article!
Partner with Online Mom Media
Online Mom Media specializes in building powerful communities of influencers! [read on]
Special Twitter Event
Join @theonlinemom this Thursday at 9pm ET as we introduce Thrively, a fun and interactive family web site! #Thrively
[read on]
Join the BUZZ!
Join @theonlinemom and friends this Friday at 12 noon PT as we look at Simplifying Mobile Tech. Great prizes! #VZWBuzz [read on]
The Online Mom Blog
Connecting Your Mobile Lifestyle
[read on]
Cómo encontrar en línea las mejores ofertas
Visite La Online Mom en Español! [read on]
Stacey Ross on The Online Mom
Catch up on the digital lifestyle with Stacey Ross!
[read on]
PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Parental Controls
Which of the new gaming consoles offers better parental supervision? [read on]
How To Make the Most of Those Daily Deals
Take a closer look at those daily deals to make sure you're getting a bargain!
[read on]
Watch Out! Your Wristband Is Tracking You…
New ways to monitor two of the most important elements that factor into our overall health: exercise and sleep [read on]
How To Beat Spam with Disposable E-Mail Addresses
There's an alternative to giving out your online information (or turning into a digital recluse): the disposable e-mail!
[read on]
Managing Your Online Reputation
There are some simple steps we can take to safeguard our online reputations [read on]
7 Apps for Finding Stuff Online
Loking to buy and sell online? Your smartphone can help!
[read on]
How to Manage Your Cell Phone Bill
Don't be overwhelmed by that cell phone bill. We offer 7 tips that can help [read on]
7 Social Networking Tips for Graduates
About to graduate? It's time to clean up those social networking accounts!
[read on]
The Best Apps for Staying in Shape
10 great apps for turning your smartphone or tablet into your workout buddy! [read on]
7 Steps to Smartphone Safety
Buying that first smartphone for your child? Make safety a top priority!
[read on]
10 Essential Apps for the Busy Mom
Turn your smartphone into your very own personal assistant! [read on]
Tweens and Facebook:
Do you think children under the age of 13 should be allowed on Facebook?

Not Sure

© 2011 the online mom, all rights reserved | site map ABOUT     MEET THE TEAM     CONTACT US     ADVERTISE     PRESS     PRIVACY     LEGAL
As you may have guessed, it is made of titanium and some stainless steel¡ªthe case is titanium and the rolex replica sale is stainless steel. The dial is brown, the watch hands are silver-toned, and there is a date window at the four o¡¯clock position. The sapphire case protects the breitling replica sale from water damage up to 30 meters. Synergy means cooperative action. This replica watches uk combines the best of the old and the new to deliver something uniquely modern. All of the classic elements are there. It has the sleek and stylish dial of the replica watches uk, the concave dot at the 12 o¡¯clock hour, and the Swiss quartz movement. But the Sapphire Synergy has something few breitling replica sale offer, a rubber wristband. Why rubber? Well, it¡¯s not a sport rolex replica sale, so using it outdoors is out of the question. But the informal band gives it a more casual look and feel, which can be quite appealing to the modern male.