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Toddlers and Technology


This might come as a shock to many people, especially Hot Mama.  I’m scared that the Kid already knows how to use my iPhone.

I woke up the other morning and was checking my email as I lay in bed with the Kid drinking his bottle. After he is done he reaches for my phone, so I naturally lock it so he can’t mess anything up and what is the first he does, gives it back to me as if to say “Turn it on dad” so I just hit the button so it stays on the lock screen, smiles that he sees his picture as my background and slides the slider over with his finger.

My first thought when I saw this was pride.  Then, I realized that I am teaching my son that having this phone is the be all end all of life.   I remembered hearing about a study on NBC Nightly News that more and more infants and toddlers are learning how to use iPads and iPhones not only to learn but companies are making different apps for them to play games on.   Which is cool, don’t get me wrong, but should not be used as a replacement for playing with toys, other babys/toddlers, and reading itself.

Hot Mama and I have been talking recently how it also scares us that when we turn the TV on the Kid instantly stops what he is doing and looks at the TV.   I don’t want my son to become addicted to the TV, which is one reasons, (if you’ve been reading in the past) why we have chosen to cancel our satellite subscription.   While I was looking for the study I saw on Nightly (I never could find it but I believe this might be the same study) I came across another study that said one thing that stuck out to me…

According to the study, infants between 0-1 years of age spend double the amount of time watching TV and DVDs than reading.  Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/313466#ixzz1dMWKtFIy
Ok first of you might be thinking to yourself that a 0-1 year old can’t read, but what they mean is being read to.  I could understand if they spent an equal amount of time reading and watching TV but isn’t it scary that infants are watching more TV being read to? When I read this, I started to take a look at my personal habits.

What do I do most of the day while I am home with the Kid?   Answer: I turn Netflix on and start watching either movies or a TV show.  What does the Kid do during that time? Answer: the two of us are usually just sitting on the floor watching the movie/show as he has at that point in time stopped playing with whatever he was playing with.   Something else that just reinforces the fact that we need to read to him more is that he already knows what a TV remote does and gets upset when he can’t use it or when it doesn’t change the channel.

While it may seem that I am focusing souly on the reading aspect, I’m not.  Since the Kid knows how to use my iPhone, watches the TV, and distracts me when I am on the computer until the screensaver comes on so that he can see pictures of himself I am going to try now to make an attempt to show him that he does not need technology to be entertained at this age.  This doesn’t mean that we will not allow technology into the Kids life at all we will only use is sparingly.  When he is older and of an appropriate age, which has yet to be determined by Hot Mama and myself, we will introduce technology back into his life.

Over the next few blog post, I will come up with my personal approach to help the Kid become not so reliant on high tech ways of entertainment during his early years.

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on November 12, 2011, in Parenting, Tech and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. just remember, everything in moderation is fine! My kids know how to use my iPad better than my husband!

  2. You are so right. If not careful, technogadets can take over ones ability to imagine. Jamie said it well, moderation is the key. : )

  1. Pingback: Low-Tech: Step 1 « The Rookie Dad

  2. Pingback: Occupy Thanksgiving: Day 2 « The Life of Jamie

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