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Every time I read an article on kids and technology, or raising kids in the digital age, or kids and screen time, I come away with the same impression: We’re doing it wrong. So here’s a point-by-point rebuttal to the experts, just for fun.

Rule: Don’t leave the kid alone with an iPad.
Reality: Sometimes I need a shower when I’m the only adult around, and iPad plus pack-and-play keeps my kid safe and happy for the 10 minutes I need to get clean. Also, we frequently play with him when he’s playing with it, and mix in educational apps whenever possible.

Rule: Too much screen time will result in a kid with delays elsewhere.
Reality: My 23-month-old is speaking in sentences, loves counting, knows his colors, and is learning his letters. He’s excited by and interested in all of that, and none of it was delivered by a device.

Rule: Don’t let the kid eat in front of a screen.
Reality: When a kid is sick, all bets are off.

Rule: Giving a kid access to devices will make them beg for screen time.
Reality: Have you ever met a toddler who didn’t beg for something? It’s called pushing limits, and it’s his job right now. Also, he begs for books and songs and the opportunity to flick a light switch.

Rule: Early iPad use will give your kid ADD.
Reality: The Boo will spend as much time, if not more, playing in the kitchen cabinets, or packing and unpacking things, or demanding that I read him book after book. He’ll also walk away from the iPad when he’s bored with it.

Rule: Kids who use technology early lack empathy.
Reality: My kid offers to kiss our boo-boos and recently apologized to a kid he bumped with a piece of gym equipment.

All that said, we don’t give the Boo unlimited screen time, and he doesn’t watch TV (just short videos while we brush his teeth). We also don’t give him the iPad if he’s begging or whining for it. In short, our technology policy for him is the same as the one for us: Don’t be an idiot.

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