Computers, video games, smartphones... all are a sweet temptation for children. They love its infinite possibilities to play, receive information, communicate ... But, From what age can they use them? Will I be wrong if I let a baby play with the tablet? Or do I give my son a mobile on his 10th birthday?
French psychiatrist Serge Tisseron, from the Ouest Nanterre University (Paris) is very clear about it. He created a basic rule for all parents: the 3-6-9-12 rule. The French Pediatric Association endorses it.
If even Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, banned the iPad from his children during childhood, it would be for a reason ... With the premise that new technologies can overexpose children to things for which they are not yet ready, arises this 3-6-9-12 rule, which tells us the following:
- Up to 3 years no television. All studies agree on one thing: screens do nothing positive for babies. Yes, the music does, and the stories. The toys and of course the games with their parents. Children under the age of 3 are not emotionally ready to see the effects of war on the news ... nor are they able to distinguish fact from fiction in a horror movie. Careful.
- Up to 6 years, no video games or tablets. Video games are proven to be addictive. They end up controlling the will of the children. Therefore, they can be dangerous. Not because of what they mean in themselves (many games are good for improving children's memory and concentration), but because of what remains for the child to do. Video games make a child lose track of time and spend hours playing ... time that he will not spend on other very beneficial games this age. And as if that were not enough, it also hinders the development of fine motor skills, the all-important 'pincer' exercise to start reading and writing is replaced by a simple tap with the thumb or index finger.
- Until age 9, no computers. Children are not ready to receive certain information until this age. As much as we are careful and install a parental filter, if a child comes across information for adults before the age of 9, it can be detrimental to their development. In addition, computers, although they offer us infinite benefits, they also hide many dangers. They always remind us of the fact that a pedophile is capable of convincing a child to undress in just eight minutes.
Nevertheless, this norm has over time 'adapted' And, being aware that children live with computers since they are born, it is recommended that they at least be used with strict parental control.
- Until the age of 12, no mobile phones or internet alone. Children want to have a mobile. And they get it before each time. But ... do they really need it? Serge Tisseron insists that children are not prepared to control a mobile phone until they are 12 years old, nor to surf the internet alone. In the case of social networks, we should wait even longer. Facebook only allows you to create a profile from the age of 13. Many parents think that even at that age, it is dangerous. So even if your child asks you for a smartphone for Communion or for his tenth birthday, say No. You will be given the wisest answer, even if it costs you.
Note: Obviously, this standard refers to the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the home, in the domestic sphere. Schools use these tools for educational purposes in a controlled and effective way (or so we want to believe).
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