Tech Families and Waldorf

I think there seems to be a high percentage of technologically-oriented families who are attracted to Waldorf Schools or Waldorf homeschooling.   I often wonder if families who are involved in technology are attracted because they need the balance in their lives,or because they may be creative people in general.

However, technology and Waldorf Education is an area where many families can quickly feel out of place.  It can be frustrating for parents who have paid a great deal of money to send their small children to Waldorf schools and hope to have their children interact with children who are not partaking in much media to have this hope be dashed.  It can also be hard for the technologically- oriented family who feels they “are not Waldorf enough” because they have jobs involving computers and work from home on their computers.  Such is a sign of the times.  They compare themselves to the Waldorf families who don’t own a TV and sigh.  Some Waldorf families I have met have a large gap in ages of their children, and so the younger members of the family are a bit  along for the ride when the technology rules relax some for the older children.

Do any of these scenarios sound like your family?

I think one thing to consider is that Waldorf education does not say that children have to be media-free forever.  The doors do open, but hopefully slowly and when children have the maturity and are the developmental age to deal with the decisions that go along with media.

People ask me all the time about media and Waldorf.  These are my ideas,  these are the way we do things in our household (and my husband works for a very major technological corporation, so we do have technology in our home).  Again, this may not resonate with you at all, you may not have much technology in your home, so please take what works for you.

For children under the age of 7, no media would be ideal.  If this is not possible, then perhaps a few hand-picked,  hand-selected gentle videos to be used very sparingly.  No video games, no handheld video game players.  No ads,  restricting items and clothing with marketing- tie ins. No Wii or Kinect.

For children ages 7-9, I would say about the same.

For children ages ten to  twelve, I would say still no video games or handheld video game players.  Some families at this point would still be limiting media and screens.  In understanding that by twelve children in our society tend to slow down and become sedentary, so I opt for strong limiting.  I am not sure how any Waldorf families are handling a Wii or Kinect if they have one, although it seems around ten and above that a family could play together for a short period several times a month.  Please do write in and share if you have rules in your family regarding these.

Perhaps though, at this point you feel comfortable with  some movies and or TV that you pick a bit more frequently, but still keeping a reign on it.  Perhaps the content relates to something you are studying. Perhaps this is also the time when you take your child to a movie in a movie theater, although  I have to be honest and say I never see too much that I really want my child to see, so my oldest has not been in a movie theater yet…All the children’s things seem so sarcastic, silly, flippant, to me but perhaps I am not looking hard enough?? My own taste in movies runs to the pretty innocent, so maybe this is all just me.

Computer usage in the home may start here, around age ten or eleven (and again, I know some families who would try to hold out a bit longer).  I know in a Waldorf School, children would learn about computers and work on them typically in the eighth grade, but home is not school.  It might be nice to stave using a computer off longer, but I feel for many homes where parents are on the computer, or work from home on a computer, an introduction can start very simply with a knowledgeable parent.

Age eleven to twelve or thirteen – Parents frequently ask me about Facebook accounts.  I will be plain here and say that I do not think your child is old enough for a Facebook account. It violates Facebook’s policies on minimum age (which is thirteen)  for Facebook, as a matter of fact.   I like this article’s pretty no-nonsense take on it here:

Age fourteen and above –  Perhaps now you tackle Facebook if you feel that is important for a teen.   I would love to hear from some of you with teens how you feel about this.  Tackle computer games (but still no hand held video game players please!).  And yes, computer usage and TV and even cell phone usage that has email by phone and texting.  What will the limits be on this?  Again, computers are also looked at and worked with in most eighth grade Waldorf classrooms, so  tackle it all  together as a family!  Come up with screen time limits:  how much screen time are you comfortable with in totality? What content is comfortable to you and how will you keep tabs on this?

I would love to hear from you regarding how you deal with all kinds of media in your family in the comment box.  This is a topic that can become rather heated, so  please be respectful of where everyone is in their walk with this.  Thank you.

Many blessings,

30 thoughts on “Tech Families and Waldorf

  1. I dont have any “no, none of this” rules. But I handpick what they do see. I despise tv and commercials, so that is my strongest stand. I also think there are certain times of the day when a movie is okay and certain times when it messes up the internal rhythm. Essentially, since I think they should be outside most of the day- there is no screen out there. I hear no whines from the children about any of my screen views, they understand and respect my opinion. I guess they actually agree.I tell them the truth and explain why its not good for us. Inside of me there has always been something that said it wasn’t good to have to much of this- I just follow that feeling. I don’t see it changing much over the years except that they will be finding their own movies. Oh- wait, I do have one “no, none of this” I refuse to own a game player. It may be played elsewhere but not in my home.

  2. You are inspiring me to get blogging about this. We just went through a major media rule overhaul in our house. At 12 and 14, it was time to sit down with the girls and talk it all out.

    • Sarah, please be sure to post a link here…The older ages get more challenging and I think it is so important to be mindful of what we think is right and hold that..
      Many blessings,

  3. We have a 20 month old daughter and have been TV free now for 9 months now. Can’t say I’ve missed it. I do find it a bit hard to manage responses from other people though who think it’s a bit extreme or who ask me how I get a break. I notice she concentrates and plays well, perhaps better than some of her peers. Hard to know whether that is from no TV or not. My daughter does use skype on the computer (well, with us) to talk with family overseas – I see that as an important way of her maintaining family relationships.

  4. Thanks for provoking post. Several questions come to mind, and perhaps you have addressed these in previous posts. One question is the general reasoning behind these guidelines. For example, what happens at age 10 that makes computer / media more “OK?” Why no handheld games at all? I’m totally on board with no media for the under 10…however, my husband has a different take. I just need to be able to explain the reasoning in a way that might convince him to rethink.

  5. I will just state what we have done and what feels good to me. When our oldest was 2, we had our second baby and it was a difficult transition. I have regrets about how I dealt with it all, and one of those things was allowing selected pre-recorded video for the 2 year old as “babysitter” when I was busy trying to put the baby to sleep. That continued for a couple of years in limited fashion, always very stringent about content, and tried to keep them ignorant of the connection to commercial toys/stuff. I did find some wonderful video like My Neighbor Totoro (which now at age almost 5, my younger girl is terribly upset now that she understands the movie better because it didn’t resolve as cleanly and simply)… but I still love that video.
    My husband is a major tech guy, and my children see me use the screen a few short periods per day. I use my computer mostly for connecting with others and for ordering food or doing home-related tasks or just general shopping, which helps to limit having to go in the car and shop around. We have used YouTube videos a few select times in Winter to learn how to to origami, etc.
    When the oldest was 6 we were deciding to go to a Waldorf school and we went cold turkey on the video for the kids. It was summer and it was very easy to do. I had always wanted to gravitate to Waldorf and tried to supply things to do, esp. outside, so they were used to being outdoors and using their own imaginations. It was much easier to not have television than to argue about when and what to watch and them wanting to select their own shows.
    Now, once in a great while, they play a video game on Dad’s iPhone, or watch a selected video on his computer, or we might have a movie night (maybe twice a month??) and on movie night I am tending toward documentaries like Planet Earth (and I don’t like the ones that talk doom and gloom about the environment–I would rather they see animals hunt than more disconnection with the Earth; at their age everything should still be a Good World).
    We have inconvenienced ourselves a lot to keep them as media free as possible. I can only say that if it were more difficult we might cave more, but it has been more benefit than now, I believe. They seem more free of all.
    I think the next phase of our media use will be more looking up Wikipedia and how-tos. We’ll do more documentaries. But they will not have cell phones, handhelds, etc. We sold our huge flat screen TV, we sold our Rock Band/Xbox.
    When they were babies, I thought I’d have more battles on my hands, because I was doing something that conflicted with my own internal compass, and because my husband seemed to want them to learn the computer for educational purposes, etc. But, I’ve been amazed how he has grown into giving it all up and supporting it, as he has seen them grow. We also had an example of a neighbor who’s 3-4 year old was playing World of Warcraft and how that limited his imagination. When my husband saw what the older kids are doing in our Waldorf school, he was “sold” on the Waldorf way.
    Our kids are into LEGO (Klutz “Contraptions” LEGO set is awesome!), stuffed animals, and right now they are using a hand saw to saw a walnut. They love skiing, swimming, ice skating, growing things, animals and creating papercraft. Not having television forces me to be more involved, tuned in, creative, active. I LOVE it that we are going this way. Oh, and my brother had children before me, and they went mostly TV-free even though their neighborhood was very mainstream and was making it difficult to shelter the kids from the culture in any way. Their example paved the way for me, a little bit, and from afar.

  6. thank you for this. We are a waldorf family that sends our child to a waldorf school and have constant discussions with people about no media in our home. we had a good presentation with one of our teachers and he made a good point that i am using now. he said dont focus on telling people how bad media is and how you are so much better for not allowing your children to see such things. instead focus and say you are more interested in giving your child real life experiences at a young age, so electronics and media do not fit into that. i always want to have positive points to make instead of being like “are you nuts?” i think this is a constant battle and it is always good to talk about. cami

  7. I was really excited to read about this, but I don’t think media and computers are the same as technology or a technological interest. I have an 8.5 year old media free boy who is *extremely* interested in technology, and by that I mean mechanical technology that he sees everywhere. What’s the difference between a car and a bicycle? Or a tricycle? What is an engine? What makes the click of a switch turn on a lightbulb? How does the washer work? Why does it go round and round? Why does water come out of the faucet? How do we change summer and winter tyres on the car? How do (insert TOOL) work? We have an old house that we’ve had to do a lot of work on, and boy – the tools (some hand powered, other power tools)! Magic! Then there are ROBOTS. The most wonderful thing in the world.

    How do we, as Waldorf parents, deal with this? It has nothing to do with tv or computers. It’s an interest he has developed by himself and he is good at these things. Oh, and he also paints, knits, draws, makes stuff with his knife, all kinds of things. But I’d say that by far his favorite activity involves this whole “how stuff works” thing.

    • Stella — I think that is a whole different topic really. I find what your son is doing is really, really common amongst boys It seems to me there were several threads about this on some of the “big” Waldorf lists like Marsha Johnson’s, Melisa Nielsen’s, etc. You may want to try to post to one of those lists. How things work is fascinating, and I do know in first grade Live Ed talks about how things are made that first graders might see, there is that little book called Earth Air Fire Water (I probably have the order of the elements wrong) and you can do the little projects in there…
      Many blessings,

    • Stella,
      PS. I think this too signifies a longing to see real work – how does one fix a toilet, a car, etc? If you or the dads in your family are handy, that is a great way to involve a little guy.

  8. As far as our 6 years old daughter is concerned, she’s grown so far with no use of media. I mean no tv, no dvd, no computer games. But she’s constantly exposed to media in the sense that we have computers, mobile phones and she sees us using them although we try to use them as less as possible during the day. When she was little I did not use my pc unless she was sleeping. That’s been good for us until now and we have recently introduced some recorded fairy tales she discovered in the library and likes to listen to. We’ll see what the 7 year change will bring. I think I could show her some youtube extracts from things I love like old american musicals like “Singing in the rain”!
    Like Cami I did never feel like talking about the evil in the media, also I never declare to people I don’t know well she has never watched a dvd. I’m not hiding at all but I don’t want to be involved in useless discussions. I do explain my reasons if there is a true need to know.
    When my daughter entered Waldorf preschool-K, I was astonished to find out there were only two other kids who never watched a dvd out of a class of 26! Some parents were new to Waldorf and some others did not let them watch tv at home but grandparents did when they took care of their grandchildren. It’s very common here in Italy that gandparents take care full time of kids. Sometimes they are “old” and feel more safe letting them just sit and watch.
    I’d like to add that our motivation wasn’t based only on Waldorf principles: it was something I felt before reading about it from a Waldorf point of view. I was striked when I saw some kids of our friends talking like a cartoon and having an imagination so stereotyped on Disneys models.

  9. Thank you for the thought-provoking post. I’ve thought a lot about media and how we can avoid the media that does not enrich our lives and include the media that does. I have 2 children. My oldest will be 4 next week. My husband and I both have backgrounds in technology. I wouldn’t call us a Waldorf family, but I have gained a lot from Waldorf ideas, specifically your blog. Like you, I dislike the vast majority of children’s movies out there. In fact, the few times that my older one has seen animated, very stimulating movies, he has been scared. I don’t think those types of movies are appropriate for young children. However, I don’t think that it is the computer or the TV that is “bad,” but rather the content. I feel the same way about books. I think that balance is the key. We spend most of our time doing active things – this summer swimming and bike riding, two things my almost 4 year old has learned to do in recent months. When we come inside for my toddler’s nap, my preschooler usually plays on an online phonics and math program. It’s innocent and not over-stimulating, and he likes it. (And I can nurse my toddler to sleep without interruption!) In the technological world that we live in, I don’t intend to hide computers from my kids, but I do shield them from the vast majority of commercial media that is out there.

  10. Hubby works in the computer/ technology field, partially from home, he has an office in the basement (with a large window overlooking the garden! Hehe, no he is not banned in a dark room). He uses mobile phones frequently. I rarely use the mobile phone, I personally find them annoying, I can basically pick the phone up and hang up after the conversation, I do not text (my phone has not even been set up for doing this). We do like to watch a movie from time to time, and the kids see us use the computers as well. Our oldest is 6 and does not like any of it, as to him those tech things take his parents attention away from him. The one thing he likes is to watch an animal show twice a month, when he is not out and about in nature. He dislikes anything else on TV. Most of his time is spent in the outdoors though, either fishing, tracking, hiking, canoeing, ice fishing etc. Yeap, even though hubby is working in the tech world, he is most definitely and outdoors man, always has been. As far as I can see and how we grew up as kids, our kids will have very limited TV time, no mobile phones until they are well into their teenage years (at least 15,16 years old for safety reasons) no gameboys or similar things in our home. Computer use might be a bit more relaxed once they turn 14, they can have a supervised e-mail account, but no facebook, twitter etc. for us. When DS plays with other kids he gets to hear weird things like batman or superman, but he has no idea what they are, he just ignores it and comes up with a game everybody can play. I showed him one time a cartoon, as he asked about it due to the batman conversation on the playground and I promised I’d show him, and he just said that he does not like it, it makes him all “dizzy” and they look weird. I hope it will stay that way for a long time, one thing that helps is that we homeschool and do a lot of things that are not so mainstream, like the things previously mentioned as well as going to Renaissance fairs, re-enactment groups etc. where he meets kids that are also into that kind of thing, so TV discussions rarely come up. they are too busy comparing the size of fish they just pulled out of the lake. 😉

  11. I have my five year old son watch (what I consider) gentle videos while I’m putting his sister down for a nap…but I would LOVE any practical alternatives!

    • I also have a 5 yr old and a baby. While I am nursing I let my 5 year old listen to stories on an I- phone (no longer used as a phone). We found an online Waldorf-ish story teller called Sparkle Stories and download new stories each week. She loves them. They are gentle, family oriented and have little lessons in them. It took a little while for her to get used to just listening (not watching) but now I know she is really using her imagination because sometimes she will describe what she thinks something looks like or is like from a Sparkle Story. This has allowed me to find content that is just NOT available on TV or even in the library as far as I can tell. It hink this is an example of technology that is really helpful in my family. It allows me to have a good bond with my new one and still know that my older one is protected from commercials, sarcasm, and course jesting.

    • I don’t know how to reply to your reply Noelle, but that’s a great alternative…thank you!

  12. So many interesting thoughts here, and thank you Carrie for replying. I think “real work” is what has made him become so interested in these things because we do a LOT of work around here, fixing up our house and working in our yard and so on. My dad came here and took down a pear tree growing literally into one of our outer walls. Both the boys were beyond thrilled. And we had a wonderful project hand-sawing the branches and sanding and oiling them 🙂 Sorry for misunderstanding the topic!

    • Stella, That is wonderful that they had the chance to see real work! That is inspiring! Maybe you can continue with having them get to know people in your area, third grade is rife with practical skills and in the mean time channel some of that energy into gardening, cooking, camping and learning knots, etc. Lots of things to be learned…

  13. Hi Carrie,
    I agree with your list of guidelines. I wrote about our boys’ increased calm, co-operation etc when we gave up all electronics (including battery run toys) recently for world moms blog ( and had some interesting comments.
    The response which always intrigues me the most is the one…it’s not realistic…I often think this phrase is a parent avoiding the reality of their own addiction to things electronic, but that’s another whole post!

  14. Due to the age of my girls, I can’t blog about this topic extensively. My reasons for limiting media have shifted from when they were little. Now, the issues are more around social interactions rather than limiting screen time for brain development, behavior, etc. In our family, an email address and Facebook come at the end of 8th grade. We wanted 7th and 8th grade–which to me are vulnerable years–to be a time when the girls were looking to their parents and family, rather than peers for guidance. We also wanted to build good homework habits that did not involve multitasking. High School (which for us is public) is a different matter and email/Facebook are essential to have. We have new rules now that we have a high schoolers with a phone, email, Facebook, etc. It is a struggle, to be sure, and with summer here it all needs to change once again.

  15. Great topic as our family is VERY backward in our use of technology and all things media! We have 6 kids- boys are 14, 12, and 4. Girls are 10, 7, and almost 2. Our children do not have cell phones nor will any of them until they can afford them themselves and are out of the house. My husband and I have cell phones and if we are ever separated from them, we let them have one and we have the other- but there is no texting and they are only to call us. No ipods. We do not own a video game console nor will we. The boys are allowed to play games on the computer like ‘Lego’ for about an hour every 2 or 3 days. No one is on Facebook. We don’t really watch any TV other than soccer and a few Nick Jr shows. We do own DVDs and are open to renting movies, but our movie watching is extremely strict. You are right on the money when you say that most movies/TV which is geared toward children is sarcastic and flippant. We don’t let our kids see movies like ‘Shrek’ or ‘Over the Hedge’ and the like because they are LOADED with sarcasm and potty humor. We also stay far away from movies and TV shows that depict negative sibling relationships. This is HUGE! So many shows depict older siblings treating the younger siblings like they are ‘pains’ or something merely to be tolerated (the show ‘Arthur’ on PBS is one of my huge pet peeves for this sort of thing). I get comments quite frequently about how good my kids are to each other. They rarely fight. I often have people comment to me that they are so ‘sweet’ to each other. There are so many factors that play into this, but a big one is that we always treat the younger ones with respect and nurturing. Younger siblings are to be loved, taught, and included. These are qualities that all media loathes. Facebook, texting, video games, even the telephone. These are all devices that divide us from one another. Most of them have no value in a home. Some of them have limited value. But we should all be overly cautious in our use of them. Having made that blast, I do like Cami’s point about being positive. This is a struggle for me as I am CONSTANTLY bombarded by those around who think I’m crazy.

    Great post on Pentecost too!

    • Thank you H West!
      I agree with you so much about the negative portrayal of sibling relationships in really is terrible.
      Many blessings,

  16. This is my biggest parenting fail. I work from home, so my children see me sitting on my laptop all afternoon. There is too much work to do only when they are sleeping. My children are young and they spend WAAAAY too much time on the computer. No television, but lots and lots of online curriculum. We are all pretty much tethered to our screens during the day. Living in an apartment in a harsh climate makes this worse. I have to work, they get VERY bored, and they can’t go outside. They do spend time playing imaginatively, we do main lessons and art projects in the mornings, they enjoy their open-ended toys and we do our chores together, we have a nature outing once a week . . . but boredom conquers us on a daily basis. I would estimate 4-5 hours every day when they are playing on educational computer websites. A DAY. That is horrible.

    I don’t know how to break this cycle. I believe that WAH and homeschooling is a better lifestyle for them than before, when they were in public school and I worked in an office. They have blossomed since being brought home in many ways. But there has got to be a better way of doing it than this.

    I can’t be the only one harboring huge amounts of guilt because of computer time.

  17. This is an area we struggle with on an at least weekly basis. We are a Waldorf-ish family, with children at a Waldorf/Steiner school in Australia. I have a 9-year-old son in class 3, a five-year-old daughter in the preschool/sessional kinder year (full kindergarten next year), and a one-year-old daughter at home.   

    Like some others who have commented, we had ‘bad’ years for television the years when both my second and third children were born. We clawed  our way back from that and are now back to no tv on school days, but the older children are allowed to watch an hour each morning on the weekends. This is basically purely so we can sleep in a bit, and not something I am unconflicted about. 

    However, my conflict is more around computer use, computer games and movies his friends have all seen. Firstly, I am a writer/editor and currently working from home, so they see me on the computer a lot. My 9 year old asked to start a blog to write a ‘novel’ on, which I have allowed him to do (password protected). He did write some of it by hand first, and I considered insisting that he continue that way, but to be honest I didn’t feel it was worth the battle in this case. 

    However, I have generally been set against computer games, especially hand helds, but – apparently almost everyone in his class now has a DS (I know of several who do, though I suspect ‘almost all’ to be an exagaration), plus he takes the bus home a couple of days a week and routinely plays on an older girl’s iPod touch on the bus, along with one of his best friends from school (who I know to have a DS, and who also routinely watches movies and television I consider altogether unsuitable for young children, one of which my 9 year old once saw at his house, without our prior knowledge, and with weeks of resulting bedtime fears). 

    Then, almost a year ago my father-in-law bought an iPod touch basically for our children, and left it at out house!  I was not there at the time, and when I found out I put it in a drawer and there it stayed for some weeks. But, eventually we gave it back to him. That’s the point at which I should have said clearly “please don’t bring it again, we are not allowing computer games at this stage.”. I didn’t. More fool me. 
    I was often preoccupied with the baby at that point, and took the opportunity of his visits to disappear into her bedroom to nap with her. Meanwhile, the kids would often drag him out to play in his car, while my husband did some housework (bless him). It took me some time to discover that during these times my son would spend most if not all his time playing games on the iPod touch. He knew his grandfather’s pin, and was able to download any game he liked. 

    I guess it was a gradual dawning of awareness that this us what was going on, and had been for sometime, and for a whole we dithered about how to handle it. It got do the moment my don saw his grandfather he would ask for the ipod, which my father-in-law would hand over without any discussion with us, and often the first we would know if it would be finding our son playing in a corner somewhere. And when we told him to stop, a massive tantrum would ensue.  We have since asked my father-in-law not to bring it anymore. Not two weeks later he showed up with his new smart phone, and only last weekend I had a blue with him when I found him helping my one year old down the front stairs carrying it. Apparently she just wanted to show me a photo of herself that he had taken, and I’ve no doubt I over reacted (he stormed off in a huff!), but honestly, it was born of months of frustration. 

    Writing all this down, it seems obvious that what we needed and need to do is to make some rules and stick to them, stating clearly that these are our rules, regardless of what other families do. I think part of the problem was that computer games – and indeed the whole ‘nine-year-old change’ came upon us unexpectedly and we simply weren’t prepared. In fact, I had started to question whether we were just being over protective about this and other issues (reading all the Harry Potter books, watching movies like Star Wars that I know we had both seen much younger than this), and to my regret decided to let him go to a sleepover at which the 2nd and 3rd Harry potter movie were played (and, as it turned out, several DSs were played on – this all with children from his waldorf school), before it occurred to me to talk to his teacher about it. She reinforced that we were NOT being over protective and talked about the nine year old and how it can be as though ‘a little adolescence visits’ and we need to firm with telling it to go away again!

    Unfortunately we are now in that position of trying to put the genie back into the bottle, which is just as hard as people say. 

    Anyway, sorry to rave on and on, my first visit to your blog too :). This is just something we’ve been wrestling with, and I haven’t blogged about it on my own blog, since I try to avoid blogging about other people, and in fact am really limiting how much I talk about my son now too, as he is getting older. 

    • Kirsten,
      I am so GLAD you are here, thank you so much for sharing your story. It always amazes me that there is so much information (comparatively) out there for the younger child and when the really hard work of parenting and navigating the world starts, there is less and less information out there. I hope to keep talking about issues that span the lifespan, and am glad you are here.
      Many blessings,

  18. I would be interested to hear your advice for parents of young children who have larger gaps of time away from a media-free environment, for example, children in separated homes where one parent leads a Waldorfian lifestyle and the other parent does not.

    How do you deal with family members (not just co-parents, but grandparents) who are very excited about sharing TV, movies, Disney, Barbie, and other products of marketing targeted specifically to children?

    • Jenn,
      This would be a great question to ask on Melisa Nielsen’s list so you can hear a variety of responses. Try to join her list. Melisa has dealth with many families who have gone through divorce or in step-parenting situations.

      That probably would be the best place to get a good number of responses, although of course I hope you get some here as well!
      You can also see my latest post about holiday questions because I addressed media there.

      Many blessings,

  19. As someone who has been raised in a high tech childhood, I see both sides of the issue. I could program a computer at age four. My dad used to work in TV. I also was an arcade game fan as well as a child and loved going to Showbiz Pizza and playing the arcade games.

    I also had very poor handwriting due to my disability and done much of my schoolwork on computers. I had an old TI/99-4A when I was in elementary school, later moved on to an Apple Iigs which I used throughout my elementary and middle school years. In later years I used PC and Macintosh computers. I I had the use of a PowerBook 520 in high school. Ihave used many computers since then. I also worked as a school computer tech and network admin for many years including being an intern tech for a middle school and a full time tech for one year as a high school. I also had computer labs in my elementary, middle, and high schools back in the day.

    As such I don’t think that shielding kids from all technology till they are a teenager is right in all cases. In fact learning technology young can have benefits as it benefitted me greatly. However I do believe in controlling what technology and the use of it that is appropriate for the age. I like Shigeru Miyamoto’s (creator of Super Mario Bros and Legend of Zelda) philosophy on this. He lets his kids play video games some but they also have to play sports and do activities other than video games.

    I also believe in choosing what they do. Like would I allow a young child unsupervised use of the internet, no. But would I allow them to play a game like Tetris or Mario occasionally, or put a quarter into Pac-man at the arcade? Yes. I would also ban them from violent games until they are older. If a kid wants to type a paper on the computer using a word processor I would allow this. When they get a little older I would gradually grant them more internet pro ledges, once they know how to use it safely and properly.

    Would I allow a kid to watch TV? Depends on the content of the program. I think that there are many educational things to learn via YouTube tor example. When they get a little older I would allow certain shows and movies. Certain ones I would want them to watch if they are a movies about important parts of history. I also would allow a middle school or high schooler to watch the news as well.

    But I also understand the importance of indoor and outdoor childplay and kids need more of it these days and I would require if I had kids to go outdoors to play sometimes.

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