I have finally hit that time in my life when I can grocery shop ALL BY MYSELF! (I know you are jealous, right?)
If I use the short window of time that my youngest is in school, I can conveniently get my grocery shopping done without the constant distractions of children in tow. Talk about amazing!
Just yesterday, as I was cruising the aisles of my local grocery store, I saw at least a dozen mamas with their kids sitting securely in the shopping cart. And these kids were HAPPY! They weren’t wiggling around or screaming to get out of their seat like mine did. They weren’t whining that they wanted this or that every time they passed something that looked inviting. Their mothers could turn around to assess apples without worrying that their toddler would fall with a clump to the hard grocery store floor. No, these kids were completely content.
Of course, they were playing iPods, smartphones or even iPads. (Thank goodness for shatter proof cases, huh?)
It was amazing. When I got my first minivan almost a decade ago, we busted the bank to have a DVD player installed. How cool I thought that would be, to actually drive while my twin toddlers were in a trance watching Teletubbies, or their favorite movie.
Today, parents have handheld, portable technology to keep their little ones busy no matter where they go. Instead of seeing children holding rattles and toys, books and stuffed animals, kids are grasping on to technological devices and filling their brains with lots of knowledge. Even more interesting is just how long these technological devices can hold a child's attention.
Of course, there are many people that worry that too much technology will have a negative effect on young children in the long run. With four kids in my home who are digitally connected, I do keep tabs on their usage and we have a “TURN OFF” time every night, where all technology gets powered down and placed in a basket.
But today there are so many applications and games geared specifically for very young children. And while many of the toddler apps and games are just plain fun or entertaining, most also incorporate some form of learning in a way that is very engaging for children. (At least engaging enough to get through a grocery shopping trip!)
This makes my ancient in-car DVD player, (which btw, the kids broke within the first 6 months) seem archaic in comparison. The things I could have done had I had smartphones a decade ago. I admit that even now, I am constantly handing my iPhone to my 5 year old to keep her busy and occupied in the car.
Suffice it to say, technology does make some aspects of parenting easier. And whereas I sometimes resorted to a lollipop to instantly distract a toddler tantrum, today all it takes is a little technology.
So chime in. What do you think? Is all this technology for babies a good thing or a bad thing? Do you allow your little one to play with your technological device?