I was interested to read that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has banned his three children aged 3, 6 & 11, from having mobile phones and tablets although apparently they can use their parents’ i pads “from time to time”.
I am sure that many parents give thought to this and worry about the age it’s OK to allow their children to have regular use of such technology. I think the answer probably depends on the child & their level of maturity plus their willingness to follow advice and guidance. However, I do believe that it’s probably a good idea to do so at some point before the children start secondary school because it will give parents the opportunity to educate their children in safe use of the device, at an age when most of them are still receptive to parental advice. If parents wait until their children are 13 or 14 there is a risk that the child thinks he or she know best and will take no notice of guidance from adults.
We all know that safe use of these mobile devices and the internet can bring huge advantages, including the support of learning, which is why we have introduced the use of iPads at our Junior school but we are also aware of the risks & dangers. Not allowing children to use the devices is not the answer; a better approach is to introduce them at an age when the children will learn how to use them safely, under the guidance and control of their parents and teachers, to get the most benefit from them.