“Oh darling, I can’t wait until we have adorable children so we can plop them in front of a giant TV, shove a screen in front of their faces while we drive through picturesque countryside and let them drool on our phones while the two of us have lively dinner conversation.” — said no one ever.
I guess I was in the last wave of parents who didn’t have a gazillion electronic options for keeping my children occupied, and I’m glad about that. I mainly relied on a little bag of books, Hot Wheels and Legos to entertain the boys while we traveled or waited somewhere.
Part of my aversion to entertaining children with technology stems from my background in early childhood education and seeing firsthand the damage it inflicts on developing brains, but the other reason I don’t like it is because I have, umm, how do I say this . . . common sense. Sure, there are lots of things I don’t know, but those topics would bore you, so let’s just move ahead and let me thrill you with my expertise (I’ll be sure to save this for my future daughters-in-law someday. They’ll love it).
But seriously now, doesn’t it make sense that if a child doesn’t interact and observe humans having real-life conversations, they won’t know how . . . click HERE to finish the story on AL.com
That’s why you have a creative, independent, adventurous son!
Leslie Anne… you’re talking to a woman whose children thought their baby swing was their mother and Barney was their weird purple uncle. Have a great week.
Ha! Actually, I think Barney was pretty good. Adults complained it was so irritating, but it wasn’t made for a 30 year old mind!
Leslie Ann, my 30 year old son never watched TV and of course there weren’t IPads to keep him entertained. He played with Legos, Lincoln logs, and had a vivid imagination. I read to him and we sang songs, wouldn’t trade it for anything!
And he’ll remember every bit of the face-to-face, personal fun he had with you!
ha ha, I refuse to share my phone with my grands, even though lots of my friends do…the other day I was thinking about how now there really is an app for everything and I can control my thermostat away from home and close my garage door…you don’t need a toddler experimenting with that! I do wish I had an app for my hose however, the pool guy left it on in my pool for a week! Your future DILs will be very lucky to have your wisdom to go by 🙂
Not so sure about the daughters-in-law, but I’m sure you are doing the right thing about not sharing your phone with the little ones. They’ll remember all the fun times with you instead of how cool your phone was.
Gosh, I’m glad I’m not raising small children today! So many temptations. Your advice sounds very wise and I’ve often wondered about all the quiet time my sisters and I had in the summers, no organized sports, mostly it was a time for reading library books of which we only were allowed 3 a week and so turned to the set of encyclopedias or the Complete Set of Charles Dickens. There was one time I was forced to take swimming lessons at the YWCA in downtown Nashville and hid in the bathroom the whole time because I was afraid of the water, and one season of ballet where no one encouraged me to even think about being a ballerina.
It sounds so dull so I wonder why I look back on it as such a magical time?
I’m guessing there were lots of other little magical moments sprinkled in between the swim lessons and ballet. And by the way, I hated swim lessons and hid in the bathroom too!
Years ago when our youngest grandson was about 10 years old; as we were leaving his cousin’s home, he was so engrossed with playing a hand held game walking out the door that he failed to acknowledge several attempts by family members to say goodbye. It kinda torqued me to the point I actually grabbed that sucker right out of his hand to get his attention, and naturally he got mad at me!
Good for you. His anger was worth the point you made (I hope).
Thank you for a timely article. It’s good to know that your kids won’t be needing safe places in college when someone says or does something they don’t agree with. And I am thankful that my kids are grown and well-adjusted, working and productive members of society. They watched their share of tv, but it was closely monitored. Their little ones love the iPads and parents’ phones, too, but are given limits on that. As a retired teacher, I understand attention deficit and can’t imagine what the pre-k and kindergarten teachers are experiencing with their students today.
Thanks for chiming in Barbara. I think you used the correct word . . . “limits.”
I agree 100%. I am also a former preK teacher. My directors wanted me to have a computer in the classroom. They got one that needed to be fixed and set up. I did not know how to do that and conveniently forgot to remind them. The Kindergarten teacher, who had only recently graduated , felt the same way, and could back it up with recent education. So the computer sat there for 2 years until they finally took it away. Sometimes the way to make a point is to be quiet.
Excellent points Beth. I too had a computer in one of my classrooms and everyone was going crazy because it would simulate a book being read, with computer pages that appeared to actually “turn!” “You mean, just like a real book?” I said. Ummm . . . they didn’t know how to answer that. My computer sat very quietly in the corner just like yours.