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Should Your Toddler Use the Computer?

As my oldest child started getting old enough to be interested in the computer, I struggled with the decision about whether or not to let him play on it.  I have read some concerns about the way development may be altered by early experience to a computer, and I certainly did fine as a toddler without technology.

It seems as though kids in this generation are more adept at technology than ever, and are comfortable at learning new programs and platforms without any hesitance at all.  While this can be a good thing, I think it is crippling our kids’ ability to entertain themselves. 

Do you remember growing up without a computer, and how things like mud pies, raspberry fights or other tangible ways of entertainment were so much fun?  I worry that by allowing my toddlers easy and open access to a computer I am depriving them of the experiences and hands-on fun that real life has to offer.

Computers have all but become essential in our society today, and they are very useful in many aspects of life, so all children should have access to computers, but with limits.  There is something so special about experiencing nature, the outdoors and the rest of life, and like prerequisites to college classes, certain things should be considered necessary education before the introduction of things like computers.

So, while my oldest is already pretty comfortable with a computer at four, he is even more knowledgeable about playing in the dirt, running with the chickens and goats on our small farm, and doing the things that four-year-olds have done for hundreds of years.  That’s the way it should be.