Back to School at

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Three-Year-Olds and Computers

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

Q: 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

A: 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.

More on: Expert Advice

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.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!