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Technology and Young Children PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 November 2019 10:20

A Verizon Employee’s Perspective

When you begin to notice that FaceTime is really helping you and the kids stay connected while on the road it becomes exciting. The kids see my face and we’d talk about her day. My wife would facilitate the conversation: “Tell Daddy what you did today at school.” We’d kiss each other goodbye in this big exaggerated way by opening our mouths wide in front of the camera before smacking a giant kiss. And when I would come home, it felt more seamless. We stayed connected.

“We know that kids, even in the womb, hear their parent's voices and know their parent's voices. So, it would make sense that even just hearing your voice would kind of keep you in the loop in her brain. The American Academy of Pediatricians does recommend FaceTime with grandparents and other far away family as one of the best uses for screen time for younger kids.”

“Anytime someone gifts your kid a tech item, it's like gifting a puppy. Ideally, they should be asking permission and collaborating with the parents. As parents, you're the ones who have to deal with it. Would your parents get your kid a puppy and say, ‘Good luck?’ Who's going to walk that puppy? It shouldn't be an executive decision from grandma that your kid has a new smartphone, for example.”

At home, we’ll play videos of ballet companies performing Swan Lake. And we’ve recently found a ballet teacher who instructs young viewers from a digital studio. The children stand in front of the screen and mirrors the teacher’s movements: Follows along from plie, to tendu, to arabesque.

“An app developer I really like for her age group is Toca Boca. They have a pet hairstyling salon, and a cooking app, and an app where you can do science in the lab. I love Toca Boca, but if I had to choose between my kid going to a petting zoo and meeting an actual sheep and playing with Toca Boca apps, I'd probably take them to meet the sheep. But you could do both. Most kids are not going to be having nonstop outdoor experiences and there are going to be times where you just need her to be doing something while you make dinner. And maybe an educational app is a good thing.” I know kids who don’t watch movies and shows. Not many, but I know some. We started streaming shows and movies early with kids. The family needs to be pretty discerning about what kind of content that should be. And really, kids are thier own barometer. They are great at telling us, “This is scary.” Or, “I don’t like that man,” when a villain appears on screen. Try to stay away from fast-moving visuals, and violence, of course, and plot lines that reinforce negative stereotypes of women or people of color. It’s not easy to find good content for her age, but there are some great shows out there like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Tumble Leaf,” and “Luo Bao Bei.”