While researching a recent article I wrote on kids and technology http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/03/21/iChildren-How-Apple-Is-Changing-Kids-Brains.aspx?p=1, I was slightly astounded at how much has changed since my children were young. I remember my middle-schooler, now nearly 21, begging for her own cell phone and telling her she would have to wait until high school to get one. Waiting until you’re 15 to get a cell phone these days is almost unheard of, when recent statistics show that 77% of teens ages 12 to 17 own their own cell phone. I was amazed at how many babies have their own iPads; 24% of those ages three to eight own their own. It got me to thinking: would I have been one of those parents who purchased an iPad for their child? The idea of putting a $500 electronic device — glass top and all — in the hands of a toddler is frightening at best. And I know that my son would immediately have gotten hooked on it — to the detriment of any other activities, like interaction with his parents. I have to admit that, as the mother of three much older children, I’m glad I don’t need to navigate all these “must have” gizmos of today’s kids.
This topic of technology came up while I was researching a piece that ran in Scholastic Parent & Child’s April issue: PC_FEATPreschool_apr12_F. It involved picking a preschool for your child. Experts were divided on whether technology in the classroom was a good thing. Some said no way; others thought it could be a useful addition, provided it was used in moderation.
I also appreciate the recent mention of my book, Making Up With Mom, by Marguerite Kelly in The Washington Post. She discusses ways that you can “break up” with a mother who is too difficult to handle. My co-author, Debby Carr, and I had a lovely tea with Ms. Kelly when we were promoting our book. She’s an inspirational journalist who paved the path on parenting advice, and we’re grateful she’s given a nod to us!