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Children and Technology: Rule 3-6-9-12

September 2, 2021 3:30 am

Published by Dominika

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We introduced specific rules for the use of technology by children. But when to start incorporating these rules? When do you even allow your child to have technology? Or how to determine the right age for the use of modern technology by children?

It is perfectly normal and common for children around the age of 7 to attract smartphones, tablets, computers that offer a variety of games and entertainment. Besides that, children want to have what their friends have, and above all, what their parents have. It cannot be expected that the child’s desire for technology will pass, it is necessary to solve the problem. According to Anne Peymirat, a parental counselor, a child between the ages of 9 and 12 is mature to have own phone.


If, as a parent, you are wondering when and what technologies children should have access to, rule 3-6-9-12, from the French psychiatrist Serge Tisseron, will help you.

The rule, called “3-6-9-12”, provides some simple advice, formulated around four basic stages of a child’s life: start of pre-school, primary school, age at which children are able to read and write correctly, age at which they begin to find their marks in middle school and enter their teenage years.

Under 3 – Play Together and Read

Avoid screens for children under 3 years. Numerous studies show that children under the age of three do not benefit from frequent use of screens. Similarly, other studies have shown that playing is much more rewarding for children than sitting in front of the television. Therefore, group games are suitable for the healthy development of a child at this age. They can also be on a tablet/phone – we advise not to – and at the same time, a parent should be involved in this game. At this age, it is best for the child to read, which develops the child’s imagination.

Under to 6 Years – Limit the Time in Front of the Screen

It is appropriate not to allow playing various video games until the age of 6. When video games are introduced too early, they absorb all the child’s attention at the expense of other activities. If you want to start setting rules, now is a good time. Set a limited time for the child to watch television, choose age-appropriate programs – rather some educational/educational. The TV, tablet and computer should be in common areas – living room, the child should not have them in his room. Digital interactive aids should be prohibited at food and at bedtime. Another important rule for parents is not to give the child technology when we need to calm down the child.

Under 9 – Three Basic Rules of the Internet

No internet for children under 9 and then once children start using the internet, children should be accompanied by a teacher or parents, who should explain the child three basic rules for using the internet:

  1. Anyone has access to anything what publishes on the Internet.
  2. Everything that is uploaded to the internet will stay there forever.
  3. Not everything that can be found on the Internet is true, which means that you need to look for other sources to verify the information.

Determine the time spend with technology to the child, whether in front of a PC screen or TV. If the child is watching fairy tales, consult with him/her what is watching, what is the story of the fairy tale, etc.

Under 12 – Teach Your Child to Protect Himself

Children should be able to access the Internet from the age of 12, but they should be careful. Parents should supervise their children and define usage rules and schedules, as well as use parental controls available on the computer itself or through external providers. Age 12 is also suitable for child’s own mobile phone. Arrange with the child how much time he can spend on the screen, in front of the monitor, and talk to him about what he is interested in there. Once in a while remind your child the “Three Rules of the Internet.”

Allow child to use the Internet without supervision from the age of 12. Rule 3-6-9-12 is necessary, but not sufficient. In addition to this rule, it is important to regulate the time that children spend in front of screens at any age. However, you must keep in mind that if you -parents – do not do what you ask from your children, they will not respect it either.

If you are interested in the 3-6-9-12 rule more and in more detail we recommend the website of Serge Tisseron, where you will find videos not only of his explanation of this rule but also the opinions of parents who have applied/are applying this rule.

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