Somehow, I get this random parenting magazine every month. It started showing up when Peanut was born, probably tied to a purchase or maybe even the birth record. I called and cancelled it once long ago, and it stopped coming for a while, but now it is back like a fungus. Every now and then there is an envelope with a big screaming ad that this COULD BE MY LAST ISSUE!!!!!! I never believe it, so I don't send a check. Anyway, it's apparently here to stay, so I read it.
I'm always really put off or surprised by at least one of the articles, and the advertising, product placement, and just plain nonsense is amazing. This most recent issue has a whole article about when kids *should* do what kind of technology. So I'm reading along and they have it broken down by age - I'm feeling good at the mention that after 9 months most if not all of your kids toys should not require batteries. But of course, the highlight at the bottom basically encourages the opposite. Then 1-2 years they recommend tinkering with iPhone apps, as well as watching educational TV. They do add the caveat that the AAP has recommended no screen time for TV until after age 2, but hey, whatever. By 2-3 years, the article says kids should be using shape sorter apps on the iPhone and electronic toys that teach letters and numbers, 3-4 years basically using your devices as their own, and 4-5 years using the Internet and playing video games.
I did a serious double take on this one. My 4 year old should be well versed in application on an iPhone and be able to access the Internet herself to play video games? For real? Why the hell would I want her to do that? I have no question that at some point she will want and need to know how to use technology. I also have no question that she can easily learn anything. I didn't have a computer until junior high, and that one was at school. No email for me until far beyond college. (Yes, I am old) I have been fully capable of dealing with and using technology, and if I wanted to I could expand my horizons with a bit of effort.
My kids love to learn about real things in a real world with real interactions and real experiences. I like it that way, they like it that way. The technology world can add to that for sure, but there is no chance they are getting their own iPhone anytime soon. They have plenty of time to get addicted to the net.