Alright… it seems like everyone and their mother seem to have an opinion about children and technology. I have posted about it before (here and here), but as Munchie continues to develop, I find the topic becoming more and more fascinating. I made the mistake of bring up technology at playgroup last week and thought I was going to be sacrificed! I love my hippie moms… but apparently we have very different views on technology. I received glares, so thick with judgement, you could see them trying to pierce my soul. It. Was. Intense.
Whatever. If they don’t want to introduce their little ones to technology, that is their decision. But, I’m going to do it. I feel as though technology is good in moderation, when used responsibly.
I am pretty sure some parents believe that by introducing their children to technology, they will inevitably morph into adults who never leave home and play World of Warcraft in Mommy’s basement for the rest of their lives… delivering pizza part-time… to support their Cheetos addiction. I mean… yeah… that could happen… but that is why I think it is important to teach children about a healthy balance between technology and sunlight. This does not mean moving your computer outside. This means moving your child outside, away from technology. Children need to learn to play with sticks, climb trees, ride bikes, and play with real children… face to face.
Munchie and his cohorts are being raised in a tech-savvy generation. The world is at their fingertips… and we need to teach them how to access it. Our world is changing. Some people are having a difficult time accepting this… but the fact is… we live in a digital world. Face to face communication is important, but knowing how to communicate in a digital world is going to be imperative. That means, our kids are going to need to know how to use various forms of technology.
The crazy thing is… kids soak things in like a sponge. It didn’t take long for Munchie to learn that he doesn’t have to find out what the freaking fox says, if he just hits the touchpad. That’s right… by the time Munchie was four months old, he had figured out that hitting the laptop touchpad would make videos stop… and hitting them again would make them play. Genius! (He has since learned that hitting any key will result in a similar action.)
I recently discovered infant computer games on the Fisher Price website. By pressing any key on the keyboard, he can make music, advance through the alphabet, count, learn shapes, colors… it’s educational in so many ways! He is learning the basic skills we already enforce in our home AND how to use effectively use technologies that will be essential to his success, as he grows up in a digital world.
Ultimately, people can teach their kids whatever they want to… but in our house… technology is right up there with learning our ABC’s and 123’s. I don’t want my kid to be all digitally awkward.