Now he’s three and he’s the one clacking on my laptop keyboard.
The Washington Post reports that toddlers spend more time with technology than they do with books. More than double the time, in fact:
“On average, kids under the age of 8 spend about 29 minutes reading or being read to, while they spend more than 90 minutes in front of the television alone. They also spend about 17 minutes on the computer, 14 minutes playing video games and 5 minutes, on average, using a touchscreen device such as a cellphone or tablet.”
I can see how the screen minutes add up in our house
At one year old, my toddler’s toy of choice was the iPod Touch. He happily slid screens around to view pictures and open and play apps. Now I have to watch over his shoulder as he goes on YouTube to watch videos of cars. (I caught one rendition of Wheels on the Bus that had the driver going “glug glug glug” just before crashing off a bridge!)
One of my toddler’s favorite things to do is type on my laptop. I start him out with a blank Word document and he has fun making all the letters appear on the page. It took him a while to get the hang of the mouse, but now he successfully navigates the little arrow all over the screen, clicking to open programs and change settings (that reminds me, I have yet to untangle them properly).
Thank goodness we got our toddler reading from a really young age. Though his spelling still leaves much to be desired…
A secretly sent text message causes baby name confusion..
My toddler has called my husband from my phone and regularly sends him text messages.
One time he tried to send him the word “truck” but spelled it as “turak”. My husband replied, “Turak, is that a new name for the new baby?” I didn’t know my son had sent the initial message, so I thought my husband was losing his mind, suggesting a ridiculous name for the baby we were expecting, out of the blue. (We were really having a hard time finding a name!)
Checking my sent messages, I saw my son sent just the letter “f” to a neighbor the other day. There was no reply.
With this new baby I now hold in my arms, the soft click of my iPod Touch plays constantly, as I check emails and update his feeding log. What technology will he be into when he’s three, I wonder?
Tech gadgets for us are like the TV in many homes
We almost never have the TV on. But there were days when I was pregnant and exhausted, and I’m sure we sat on the couch for two hours as I turned my son loose on the iPod and then the laptop. They hold his attention better than a Thomas the Tank Engine video.
Like many parents do with the TV, we usually put limits on our toddler’s technology time. The iPod is (normally) just for 30 minutes max at a time. And I can really only stand to see my laptop terrorized for 10 minutes before I put a stop to it.
I understand it’s important for my sons to have lots of people interaction and less screen time. But I was also encouraged to hear from a wonderful kindergarten teacher that most of her students come to school already knowing how to operate a computer. Those who have been shielded completely from technology have a harder time catching on.
But that’s us. What about your toddler and the world of technology?