This is the most burning question for parents of all children. Should I allow my children to use technology (hint: Steve Jobs did not allow his kids to use iPads and many Silicon Valley executives send their kids to a low-tech school)? How much tech is too much?
This was the question we've asked UK's leading parenting experts - bestselling author Noel Janis-Norton, journalist and author Liat Hughes Joshi, founder of Kinfo app that helps parents explore non-digital activities for kids Isabelle Delmas, and founder of Consciously Digital and organizer of Focus Inside Anastasia Dedyukhina.
First, Anastasia talked about why it's important to control kid's time online. She explained the four stages of "hooking" our brain on technology and why our devices are so irresistible. She mentioned research showing that tech overuse may make them overweight, create sleeping problems, interfere with developing communication skills and slow down the development.
In the second half, the panel moderated by Liat Hughes Joshi focused on how and what to do to help children balance their behaviour. One of the key messages from the panel was that parents should not be children's entertainers. They must set up very strict time and place boundaries for using tech, and require that children do more things that create natural source of dopamine, like sports, to avoid digital addiction. They also recommended that parents should hold schools accountable for how tech exactly is being used there and not simply accept the suggestion to use more technology in the classrooms.
Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.