By Jeana Lee Tahnk
The environment our babies are growing up in now is so different
than it was 10 or even five years ago. It makes me sound old to be
reminiscing about "the simpler times back then," but in some ways, life was easier without all the technological advances we have access to today.
There are apps for toddlers, electronic toys for babies and homes
that are filled to the brim with gadgets. As much of a proponent I am of
babies not using technology until at least the age of 2, the reality is
that we live in a tech-filled world and it's hard to completely shield
them from that.
Our baby lives in a house where her parents check their iPhones and
her brother and sister play on a tablet, watch TV and use their gaming
devices. She sees a world around her where people can ask their phones a
question and get a response or order their TVs to find a particular
As someone who has been in the tech industry for a long time, I have
seen my fair share of kids' apps. While I don't like the idea of young
babies interacting with technology, I do believe technology can provide
educational (and entertainment) benefits to older kids.
Why am I hesitant to introduce technology at an early age? In my
opinion, what's the rush? Kids are going to live a life full of
technological advances, many we can't even begin to fathom. With a
future path of gadgetry and gizmos, I'd like to retain as much of the
simple life as possible, for as long as possible.
I'd rather read a book with my baby than listen to a narrative on a
screen. I'd rather play with blocks instead of tap on squares on a
tablet. My baby is happy to gnaw on a rubber spatula and hit it against a
bowl. At this age, she doesn't need all the extra bells, whistles,
flashing lights and stimulation that can come with technology.
It's impossible to raise her in a world devoid of technology, but
until she starts seeking the technology - and until I'm ready to give it
to her - the rubber spatula and bowls are just fine for both of us.
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