Pediatrician, Dr. George Bengtson, shared a few of the ways in which today's modern technology can actually be beneficial for kids along with some guidelines for supervising your kids use of it.
Specific areas where mobile device use may be beneficial
Cognitive development - gains in memory, spatial perception and problem solving
Social development - Email, chat and instant messaging CAN be used to a benefit
Can allow collaborative work outside the school setting
Physical development - benefits in eye-hand coordination, fine motor control
Caveats: BALANCE in all things. Balance the digital and the analog world, and supervise.
Use your mobile device in an INTERACTIVE way. Don't give it to a child and then leave.
Example: Use tablet to find a recipe, then make the dish together.
Have child use the device in a public/shared space.
Avoid TV/Internet use in child's bedroom.
Make good content selections.
Use print or online resources to choose apps deliberately.
Don't acquire apps blindly just because they're "free".
Watch the time.
Balance amount of time given to school, sports, unstructured play, media.
Media = dessert, the smallest compartment of the food pyramid.
No screen time (foreground or background) for kids under two years of age
This recommendation has NOT changed.
And above all MODEL THE BEHAVIOR THAT YOU WANT TO SEE!