Toddlers and Technology

One of Totsy's own Niece

Our kids will never know what a life without wireless devices and touch screens is like. Their future may very well be like that of the Jetsons. But what effect does all this technology going to have on their young development. Have you seen the YouTube video of the baby using an iPad? The video captures her clearly understanding the iPad’s touch capabilities. Then, she is given an actual paper magazine and she thinks it’s broken because nothing happens when she taps the pages.  It’s a cute video. Really.

And its also evidence of one of today’s challenges as a parent. The what and how of parenting with technology. How much is too much? Will not using technology enough make it harder for children when they reach classes that require it? Where does a parent come down on balance?

Just like t.v., video games and cell phones, today’s technology presents another opportunity for parents to use it as a learning tool, but not allow it to become a fixture that replaces other educational or physical development opportunities. And certainly, it should not be used as a substitute parent.

Parents will use their smartphones and other devices to calm their kids down or keep them distracted during long waits and in public situations where a little technology might prevent a meltdown. Like most things in life, it’s a matter of balance. Our Totsy team dug a bit deeper into the situation to give you some of both the positives as well as the negatives surrounding Toddler’s and Technology.

Pros

  • Fine-tunes motor skills: Pushing keys and manipulating a mouse gives those tiny toddler hands and fingers the same type of valuable workout they get from finger painting or doodling (though without the creative kick of more artistic endeavors). This form of “finger activity” also hones in on hand-eye coordination, which will pay off for years to come as your little one learns to catch a ball, use scissors, or put together a tricky puzzle.
  • Teaches Cause and Effect: When your child taps a button or swipes the screen, something happens, encouraging curiosity.
  • Apps Targeted to Toddler’s: The App store has a plethora of apps targeted at toddlers. From flashcards that teach numbers and the alphabet, to learning a new language, to games that involve shapes and colors, your smartphone or tablet can be turned into a classroom.

Cons

  • Not Enough “Face Time”: Kids who are glued to a screen throughout the day are less likely to interact with other kids or adults. As humans, we need to interact with one another, developing emotional and social skills.
  • Lack of Activity: Too much screen time may make your little less active, even later on in life. Toddler’s need hands on time, feeling and touching everything, developing their senses. Get them to play with blocks, get muddy in dirt, or finger paint. Can they do that on your smartphone? Nope! Toddlers also need physical play; it helps build strong muscles and it’s a primary way little kids discover what their bodies can do.
  • Too Much Stimulation: According to Natural News, research presented at SLEEP 2010, the 24th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, has revealed that children who use technology late at night are more prone to develop cognitive problems than children who have regular sleeping patterns that do not involve staying up late on their computers and cell phone. Or in other words, after using technological devices too close to bedtime may make them antsy and hyper, disrupting their sleep schedule. Their bodies basically have been told, “you’re not ready for bed.”

Tune in tomorrow as Totsy’s Chief Mom shares her thought via video.

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Sibling Rivalry Part 2: What to Do When Siblings Squabble

In Part II of our The Mother Company Sibling Rivalry series, The Mother Company chats with Dr. Joshua Sparrow, MD about how to manage (or stay out of?!) their children’s disputes, in order to best preserve and support happy sibling relations.

An interview with Dr. Joshua D. Sparrow, MD:

  • How do parents deal with the older child acting aggressively to the younger child?
  • How do we deal with the situation of the younger child messing up the older child’s toys or games? Remove from room? Simply explain?
  • What should parents do when the elder sibling regresses, uses baby talk, or wants to be picked up all the time?
  • Does sibling fighting indicate a future of a fractured relationship?
  • How can we cultivate sibling love that will last forever?

To see the full list of questions & answers, please check out the original post on The Mother Company website!  And look out for the upcoming DVD release of Ruby’s Studio: The Sibling Show as part of The Mother Company’s award-winning line of children’s DVDs and books.

Also be sure to visit Totsy’s YouTube page as our Chief Mom & West Coast Mom chronicle their own journeys with new arrivals and sibling warfare. 

Sibling Rivalry Part 1: Introducing A New Baby

A few weeks ago we introduced The Mother Company, a mama-run company whose mission is to promote emotional literacy and “help parents raise good people.” We promised to kick-off a series of guest posts from their parenting experts on topics we know are near and dear to our Totsy parents’ hearts. We’re making good on that promise by launching the series with a two-part post this week, on one of the toughest topics around:

Introducing A New Baby & Sibling Rivalry

Anticipating the arrival of their 2nd child, The Mother Company co-founder Abbie Schiller sat down with parenting expert Dr. Debra Lobato to glean some wisdom on introducing her daughter to a new sibling. Here are some of the questions they discussed:

  • How far in advance should a parent prepare an older sibling for a new arrival?
  • How should parents deal with their child regressing before and after baby arrives?
  • What tips can you share to help parents ensure their first-born feels important while they devote so much time to their newborn?

To see the full list of questions & answers, please check out the original post on The Mother Company website!  And look out for the upcoming DVD release of Ruby’s Studio: The Sibling Show as part of The Mother Company’s award-winning line of children’s DVDs and books.

Also be sure to visit Totsy’s YouTube page as our Chief Mom & West Coast Mom chronicle their own journeys with new arrivals and sibling warfare.

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow and it’s a huge Mexican celebration!

This weekend I am at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne working. I have the privilege of speaking at the Mom 2.0 Summit in which all the women I admire are attending.

In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, picture me sitting at the Cantana poolside bar at the Ritz sipping my new favorite drink-Spicy Margarita!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Tanteo Jalapeno tequila OR regular silver tequila with a slice of jalapeno in it
  •  3/4 oz of Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1 oz of freshly squeezed lime
  • 3/4 oz Grand Marnier (adds a little sweetness!)

Shake it all up and serve on the rocks with salt on the rim!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! ENJOY!

xo,

Diana

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