Category Archives: Parents and parenting

Screen time v play time: what tech leaders won’t let their own kids do

Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive designed some of the world’s most desirable tech – but imposed strict limits on their own children using it. What rules do others set?

When a technology journalist suggested to Steve Jobs, in 2010, that his children must have loved the just-released iPad, he replied flatly: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” His former righthand man, Jonathan Ive, whose design for the iPad is so simple that toddlers can operate it, recently revealed that he sets strict limits for his 10-year-old twin boys.

Steiner Waldorf schools, which exclude screen time before the age of 12 in favour of physical activity, art and experiential learning, are particularly popular with Silicon Valley executives and their UK counterparts. Kevin Avison, executive officer of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship in the UK, says that when he was teaching near Reading, “nearly 50% of parents of children in the class worked at Oracle or other hi-tech computer companies”.

There isn’t an intent to harm children, but there’s an intent to keep them engaged

We do a terrible thing if she’s playing up in a restaurant: we’ll use the iPad as a digital pacifier

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