Three-Year-Olds and Computers

If a three-year-old enjoys playing with a computer, he certainly should be allowed to be curious about it and enjoy what pleasure it can afford him.
My three-year-old son enjoys computer games. We limit his time on the computer, however, to one-half hour per week because we do not want him to become addicted to it. I think it's more important for him to do things in our three-dimensional world at this stage of his development.

Despite this, I'd like to let my son try more educational activities on the computer. How do I find the right software? How often should I let him use the computer? Thanks for your help

I'm pleased that you want your son to fully explore the natural, multi-dimensional world he lives in and be enriched by its wonders. At the same time, it's great to see you fostering your son's healthy interest in computers. Limit his time on your computer to no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, a few days a week. Try to supervise his activity at all times.

Age-appropriate software is reviewed in Parenting magazine (check out several back issues in your library) and many other family-oriented computer publications.

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.