Kids 3.0, or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the iPod”

by Samantha on March 19, 2011

My daughter Miranda is a tech-savvy son of a gun.

The kid is good - really good.

She can wield an iPod like no one else.

“Daddy, can I play on your iPod?,” she often says to her father. He almost always says “yes.”

I then hear “YES!,” “DARN IT!,” and other exclamations in rising intensity from this very busy young lady.

“What are you doing, Sweetie?,” I say.

“Playing on Daddy’s iPod and trying to beat it!”

Kids and technology.

These days, the two go hand-in-hand. Never has there been a time where children were more technologically-inclined or comfortable, for that matter. As our world has changed over the past twenty years, so have the everyday items that we take for granted. Many of these have a technological bent. From operating the PVR to the DVD player to the various household appliances and gadget, we are raising generation that not only is comfortable with technology, but one that wholeheartedly embraces it as well.

Our kids are well-versed in the multitudes of technology that have become commonplace. It’s not unheard of for the young - the very young - to show the digital ropes to the older generation. Oftentimes, kids are more savvy than their grandparents.

Yet I find myself questioning whether we have really advanced because of technology. Of course it has made our lives a lot easier than earlier times, but there is something to be said for “kickin’ it old school” - that is - entertaining your children the old-fashioned way.

Some of my best childhood memories include playing Monopoly or Crazy Eights around the table with my family. I find myself reminiscing the days when it was a thrill to learn that The Wizard of Oz was going to be on TV in a week. With great anticipation, I would wait for the day with baited breath, planning the evening with my mother, down to the last snack detail. There was something magical about the wait, knowing that in a few days, the “event” would occur. The waiting added to the thrill.

With DVRs the standard now, there is no longer any need to plan anything, at least as far as watching movies on TV goes. Movies and television on demand are how we do things now,  and with these conveniences, the thrill and anticipation is gone.

Which brings us back to the point of this post: technology and children.  I embrace technology and what it has afforded my life in the past few years. I really embrace technology when I am able to calm a screaming child by popping a DVD into the DVD player or watching a kids video on Youtube. And while doing both of these things, I am at once conflicted. I’m thrilled about the immediate results (e.g. distracted and entertained children) and saddened by the loss of more interactive methods of relating to my kids. Oh yes, there is also the guilt about using technology to make things easier as a parent.

So my questions today center around technology and your use of it with your kids:

Are your kids tech-savvy?

Do you use technology often in order to assist you in parenting?

Do you feel guilty about the amount of technology you use with your kids?


Would you welcome a return to a less technology-focused time in order to have more “quality time” with your children?

I look forward to your comments!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie March 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I don't have kids, but I think we have to expect that our kids will be really tech-savvy.

My 2.5 yr old nephew has figured out how to play Angry Birds on my iPhone!

Reply

Melanie March 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I don't have kids, but I think we have to expect that our kids will be really tech-savvy.

My 2.5 yr old nephew has figured out how to play Angry Birds on my iPhone!

Reply

Samantha March 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

@Melanie It sure seems that there's no way around technology these days. Kids' technological abilities are occurring earlier and earlier these days. For this reason I'm not surprised at your nephew's abilities. These kinds of scenarios are becoming more common as our use of tech-related items grows.
Thanks for commenting!

Reply

Samantha March 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

@Melanie It sure seems that there's no way around technology these days. Kids' technological abilities are occurring earlier and earlier these days. For this reason I'm not surprised at your nephew's abilities. These kinds of scenarios are becoming more common as our use of tech-related items grows.
Thanks for commenting!

Reply

Lori March 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Great thought provoking post!

I think that technology has allowed us to get information instantly and has allowed us to connect globally.

I wrote a similar type post a few months back: Is the internet hurting or helping our children’s intellectual acuity? http://www.lorislolz.org/2010/10/is-internet-hurting-or-helping-our_25.html

Ultimitely, I think that in order for our children to compete in a global society, technology must be a part of their lives and learning.

Reply

Lori March 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Great thought provoking post!

I think that technology has allowed us to get information instantly and has allowed us to connect globally.

I wrote a similar type post a few months back: Is the internet hurting or helping our children’s intellectual acuity? http://www.lorislolz.org/2010/10/is-internet-hurting-or-helping-our_25.html

Ultimitely, I think that in order for our children to compete in a global society, technology must be a part of their lives and learning.

Reply

Samantha March 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

@Lori
Hi Lori,
Agreed - I think technology is helpful and necessary…it's how it is used, how often, and in what manner. Children these days definitely need to be adept in the digital world that we live in - there's no way around it. Trying to sort it all out is a work in progress, for sure.
Thanks for commenting.

Reply

Samantha March 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

@Lori
Hi Lori,
Agreed - I think technology is helpful and necessary…it's how it is used, how often, and in what manner. Children these days definitely need to be adept in the digital world that we live in - there's no way around it. Trying to sort it all out is a work in progress, for sure.
Thanks for commenting.

Reply

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