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Posts Tagged ‘techology’

* Sad but have to weekly disclaimer: If you don’t like what I have to say, don’t read it. If you chose to and still don’t like what I have to say and want to respond, please be civil and appropriate.  I love feedback of all points of view.  🙂

Technology 2 Early?

Today I was browsing the net looking for what PD1 wants for her 3rd b-day on price comparing.  She actually wants the Fisher Price Wheelies Stand and Play Ramp with all the different cars to race her sister and her dad with.  I was a bit surprised since she is very much a girly girl, but hey, I LOVED Hot Wheels when I was little and had the garage that had the cool elevator and I think I turned out a fairly OK. 

While ‘googling’ (apparently, that is a new verb) this toy, I can across this toy, Fisher Price Laugh and Learn iCan Play case for an iPhone or iTouch so your little one can play with your iPhone or iTouch for the toddler and pre-school ages and  I was floored.  I have a group of friends that did get their two and half-year olds iTouches for Christmas, while I got PD1 a doll house and pretend kitchen toys.   That whole thing troubled me when I heard that and now I see that this is a growing trend!

I get that there is an obvious market for this, since it was named as a top toy to get at a Toy Fair in New York, but really parents!  Can’t we keep these kids, kids for a little bit longer?  Do we now not only have to see the 6-10 year old completely disengaged from his or her surroundings while playing on theirs DS or Gameboy, even at the Happiest Place on Earth or the local zoo, but now we have to watch the night of the living toddlers zombied out on their parents’ iPhones. 

I know that this is the sign of the times in the case of technology, but I think I was born in the wrong era.  I just joined the Smart Phone and Facebook party and I am not sure I like either that much.   The thought of being connected all the time to someone, something and somewhere is a bit overwhelming.  I am totally guilty of “unplugging” for days on end and if someone really wants to get a hold of me, they can ring me the good old fashion way.

I guess what bothers me about this new technology trend of getting them exposed early is all the arguments I hear that this builds good eye-hand coordination, helps with learning and developing fine motor skills and reading.   I don’t buy that a $250-$500 technolgy device that is designed for adult use is something that is for pre-schoolers to use for learning or entertainment.  I feel, in most cases, not all cases (I think some of my close buds feel as stongly about exposing them to current technology as I do about sheltering them), it is an item a parent can give to a kid to distract them so they can do what they want to do and somehow justify it to themselves that it is educational to make them feel better.  Once again dodging being a hands on parent.  

How about, unplug, disconnect and throw a ball, take a walk, enjoy the animals at the zoo, get out the paints, the tea party set, Play-Doh, Legos,  building blocks or even a cardboard box and decorate it like a car and play pretend?  Those are real things that teach all the above arguments and one other thing that I think is the most important of all that the iPhone can’t teach and that is, SOCIAL SKILLS.  

Before I get off my soap box I have one last thing to say, when the world  starts scratching their heads on why we can’t work, live and play well with each other and thumbs and index fingers have arthritis at the ripe old age of 30, don’t be surprised that I will tell you, “I told you so”.  Balance, moderation and restraint on growing up your kids too fast is what I feel is the key.

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