What age should a child start to use a PC?

Another interesting story this time from the BBC website; “The rise of the cyber-children

It asks powerful and profound questions like; “What is the best age to introduce chilren to using computers?” and “Would it give the child an advantage or a head-start?”

In the UK, children as young as 18 months to two-and-a-half years old have started to use the computer keyboard and mouse, according to the report. It adds,

Worldwide research on very young children and their use of IT is limited, but one recent report from Sheffield University in the UK called Digital Beginnings makes for interesting reading.

For instance by the age of four, 45% of children have used a mouse to point and click, 27% have used a computer on their own at home, rising to 53% for six-year-olds, and 30% have looked at websites for children at home.

Well, that’s in the United Kingdom, I wonder what are the figures are here in the Philippines? Then again more questions pop in my mind like, “How many Filipino kids have access to computers?” “How young are those Filipino kids?” “What do they do with the computer or have they experienced the internet already?” “Do they use Windows or Mac? Have they ever seen nor used Linux before?” “Do they become smarter or perform better than others?” These are just some questions racing in my mind regarding the subject of children and computers.

In my opinion, based on my own childhood experience, studies and observations, I do not agree on starting children as young as 18 months to 2 years in using the computer. Even if they use software and programs custom-made or intended for children’s education and skill levels, it’s still not a good idea especially if one is in keeping interest of the child’s development. I say, again based on my own experience which I would share on a follow up post, to wait until they have grown tired of their toys then give them the computer or wait until it becomes a necessity for them to learn to use the computer because of the need for making school projects or research via the internet easier.

Aside from the bright colors, moving pictures, graphics, cool sounds and the occassional vibrations from the mouse (if you have one that is equipped with such feature) what other stimulation could a child get from a box, a stripped-down typerwriter, a monitor screen and a device named after one of the filthiest creatures on the planet?

Compare that to the stimulation a child could get from a set of building blocks, puzzles, even a ball of clay or some quality time with mommy and daddy. If you’re a parent or an older sibling wanting to fully develop the creative mind and motor skills of a child, would you push him/her in front of a modified version of the ‘idiot box’?

In my next post, I’ll reinforce my stand by sharing with you my own childhood experience regarding computers and child development.

17 Comments

  1. well, para sakin, pwede nang mag computer ang isang bata kapag nakokontrol nya na ang mouse at nakakapagbasa na sya ng ingles.

    basta meron internet security yung pc.

    Reply

  2. hi jhay… link exchange?

    para sa akin… kahit anung age ng bata eh pwede na silang gumamit ng computer, as long as may guidance from their parents or kahit sinong matanda na kasama nila. kung mas maaga silang matututong gumamit ng computer eh mas may lamang sila sa iba. para sa akin lang naman yun :).

    Reply

  3. i think it'd be an advantage if a kid started to use a computer at a young age. we are living in a cyberage na… But parents should teach their kids how to use it properly, if they're gona use it for games then that's a no no.

    Reply

  4. as long as the child knows what he does with the computer, there's no problem… at this age of computers, they should start young but also there should be limits of how much time they spend in the computer or they will have no time to s[pend with other children or anybody at home…

    Reply

  5. As early as 18 months? Wow!

    I remember I started using computer when I was 4th year high school and discovered the internet when I was 1st year college. Haha. I even thought that scanning was synonymous to browsing. Haha. Poor.

    But I have a cousin who started using the PC when he was 2 years. And he learned using it by his own. He is 5 years old now. He is now his mom's tutor in typing lessons. No kidding.

    Reply

  6. you mean, filipino kids di ba? no offend mostly, Gaming ang inaatupag nila… w/c is more likely to skip class,magnakaw at mangupit ng pera sa magulang.. haha!
    me natututunan din naman sial dun, atleast they know the basic sa paggamit ng computer at mouse,..

    btw,. thanks for the visit!

    Reply

  7. my daughter i s 5 yrs old,. she knows how to use th ecomputer,. pero mostly nga mag surf ng mga cute cute ng site, lam mo namanang bata, lalo na kung babae,.. she likes disney channel nickelodeon site,.

    naglalaro paminsan minsan ng Sims, pero limited lang yung time…

    🙂

    Reply

  8. I have a cousin who is 5 years old and can type so well, he makes his mom look like a beginner! LOL! There are of course advantages and disadvantages to learning the use of a computer at and early age. Its up to the parents to inform the child how to use it.

    Reply

  9. wala na nga atang pinipili ang paggamit ng computer.. mas nauuna pa nga ata silang matutong gumamit nito kesa magbasa..

    darami na talaga ang blogger sa mundo! hehhe

    Reply

  10. @ rob: Sabagay, pero ano kaya ang magiging epekto nito sa paglaki ng bata? Ang habol ko lang naman yung kanyang holistic mental at physical development.

    @ loyski: Right on! My sentiments exactly. I even remind my self sometimes, "jhay, step away from the pc and get a life!" 😀

    @ lalaine: Naiintindihan kita at sang-ayon naman ako, pero kung sa panood ng telebisyon eh wala nang gabay ang mga bata, sa paggammit pa kaya ng computer?

    @ rose: Sinabi mo pa. Mas alam nilang maglaro kesa gumamit ng MS Word atbp. Ito ang gusto kong tumbukin, ang epekto ng maagang exposure ng mga batang Pinoy sa paggamit ng PCs. Magandang topic sa thesis to ah, hehehe

    Eh, ang nakakatawa minsan eh, mas marunong pa sa computer ang mga anak kumpara sa mga magulang nila, lolz

    @ Jam: Just goes to show that the computer has not yet fully penetrated the majority of Pinoy households. The first time I used a computer was back when I was still in Grade 5. Rental pa yun, masyado kasi mahal noon kahit Windows 95 ang uso.hehehe

    You're cousin is amazing, that's proof that everyone could learn how to use the pc. It's just the effect of it on the child's development is what concerns me.

    @ Jong: Definitely, no games for young kids. Hay, tuwing weekends, naiistorbo ako sa mga gawain ko dahil inuutusan akong sunduin yung mga nakababata kong pinsan at pamangkin mula sa mga PC shops, naglalaro na ng CS!

    @ gbert: Key factor: Parental guidance. But with either parents working abroad or not at home, who will guide the kids in using the PC? In the Philippine context, I urge we think about this more seriously. Then again, how many Pinoy households have their own PC?

    It's quite complicated from there on.

    @ jigs: Hehehe, truly amazing how modern gadgets and the pc can magnify the great generation gaps. The big problem is, do parents know enough about PCs so that their guidance would be in the correct path? Bigger problem, I'm afraid.

    @ karmi: Hehehe, dadami talaga ang mga bloggers sa mundo. Pero ewan ko lang sa mga Pinoy kasi, 10% lang ng mga Pinoy ang may computer at access sa internet.

    Reply

  11. Get a Mac for kids, para isang clicker lang! Heheh. I hear those old clamshell G3 iMacs were designed with kids in mind–they're so durable kids could drop and step on them and they'll still live to see another day.

    Reply

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