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Computer Training for a Three-Year-Old?

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: How and when should I start teaching my three-year-old about the computer?

A: Your three-year-old doesn't need computer training now, or for several years to come. Learning how to use a computer won't make kids smarter, more creative, or more prepared for elementary school. Your child should probably learn how to type when he's in the mid-elementary grades and learn how to locate resources online by the end of elementary school.

The best introduction to computers will come when your child expresses interest in learning more about them. It's the same as when a child's interest in playing the piano is triggered by hearing Mommy play a song. If you have a computer and your child indicates an interest in learning more about how it works and what it does, answer her questions without overwhelming her. Keep this learning process child-generated, fun, and pressure-free.

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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 FamilyEducation.com 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.

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