Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Computer time?


I have a dilemma that is fairly new for me. My husband is a computer programmer and when he comes home, he likes to spend the evenings playing on the computer. For Christmas, he made Levi a computer game...which is pretty cool, by the way:). Anyway, my dilemma is how much time do I let the kids spend on the computer? Geo also installed a painting program that is perfect for the kids to do. So if Levi wants to play on the computer, so does Natalie (which works, because we have two computers).

Do your children play on the computer? My kids are 4 and 3. Do I really want to start computer time this young? Is this just how this upcoming generation will go? I would love to know what you all think!

PS I asked George about this and he said "It's just like giving them paper and paints and they are being creative, but not messy!" Who can argue with that kind of logic? But it is coming from the guy who wrote his first program in 3rd grade and his mom wrote a how-to book about Microsoft Word many years ago!

8 comments:

Debbie, Lee, Rachele and Kenny said...

Well I think this is the perfect age to show kids computers. We got Rachele a VTech laptop for Christmas and she loves it...not to mention it keeps her from bugging us when we are on the computer and she wants to be too. Lee on the other hand thinks it a matter of how well the child understands not to mess with the buttons other than the ones with letters. We have had a few computer issues and he is afraid that the kids may cause issues on the computer by playing on them. But he did agree to get her the VTech computer so....I guess as long as you're comfortable with them on the computer let them have fun.

Jennifer said...

Olivia has been playing computer games for the past year or so, and she just got a Webkinz that she loves to play with it. However, our rule is she gets one hour a day of spending in front of a screen. She can have 1 hour of t.v time or she can have 1/2 hour of computer play and 1/2 hour of t.v. On Saturday I do extend it a little bit because she is home all day. yeah, that's prob. for me. :)

Abbey said...

Here's my education background coming in: in the preschool where I did my student teaching, we let the kids have 1/2 hour of computer time per school day (1/2 a day). As a teacher, I love kids playing computer games (obviously not for too long) because it really helps them learn and practice coordination, and they think it's fun.

Caroline said...

My brother let's his kids have 2 hours of computer time per week, to spend when they want. I usually only let Matthew use the computer while Scott is napping (it's part of quiet time). Now that Scott doesn't nap everyday and Matthew's in school, I usually just try to keep it down to around an 45 min to an hour a day. I know other people set a timer and allow 30 minutes or whatever. My friend told me about a great website of computer games for kids to help with letters and reading: starfall.com I do think it's important for kids to know how to use computers, and most things are good in moderation. You know what's good for you kids and what's too much.

Joanna said...

Geo wrote a computer program in THIRD GRADE??? WOW.

Harry & Linda said...

You and George have the perfect combination to figure out what works for your kids - George can lead them into useful activities on the computer and you have a wonderful sense of what's a good use of their time. I have every confidence that you know your kids well enough to know what's enough time. George was the only one of our kids who ever got the computer bug. I really think it led to a broadened curiosity in many different subjects. My complaint is the "canned" Internet sites that cause an addiction to entertainment, even under the guise of being educational. When the whining starts to get back to something like that - it's addictive in my opinion and not worth the hassles.

Stephanie said...

Wow. In the winter months my kids have been spending more time on the computer then in the previous summer months. They play it every day/or every other day for about an hour or so. Some days it's longer. I think everyone has different situations, different energy levels, bad days, good days that ultimately determine their kids usage of the computer. I know for a while I felt pretty guilty because I was letting my girls which over the recommended 1/2 hour of tv a day. I don't feel guilty anymore(for different reasons) but like I said, everyone has to figure that out for themselves.

Emily said...

Well, considering I'm on the computer ALL DAY LONG, I'm not a great example to my kids. They are on A LOT too. But they don't watch any tv. I don't know. I swore I wouldn't have kids addicted to video games, but I'm the one with the problem. Darn Webkinz...