Original Link: http://www.wired.com/2014/04/children-and-touch-screens

Mat Honan:

But the ever-present touchscreens make me incredibly uneasy—probably because they make parenting so easy. There is always one at hand to make restaurants and long drives and air travel much more pleasant. The tablet is the new pacifier.

I agree with Honan’s concluding paragraph that there really isn’t a clear-cut answer for appropriate boundaries when it comes to our kids and their usage of touch devices.

I also agree with Shawn Blanc on this topic

The goal has to be teaching (and then enforcing) moderation and boundaries. Heck, even the most healthy things our kids could be doing — like happily playing sports outside with friends — still needs boundaries and moderation. “When it’s family dinner time, that means it’s time to come inside and stop playing outside.”

This is something Anna and I talk about often, and we keep coming back to the basic guiding principle of active and engaged parenting. Letting our sons play a learning game on the iPad or watch an episode of The Magic School Bus isn’t wrong in and of itself, and we don’t want them to grow up feeling shame related to the usage of digital devices. But neither are we going to let them zone out for hours watching cartoons on an iPhone so we can live our lives without the “inconvenience” of little boys who constantly want our attention. That “inconvenience” is what the beauty and responsibility of parenting is all about.

My daughter has an iPad 3, and she uses it for reading (hooked on phonics and starfall are two good apps), as well as playing (mostly educational) games and watching shows, but we also restrict her usage, my wife and I both agree that she should only use the iPad for so much each day, and usually break up her time with it, so she may have it a little after school and then again just before bed, but we also do other stuff as well, and she has no problem moving onto to other activities to keep herself busy.