Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kid Tech

So, my middle child, E, turned two last March.  She talks incessantly.  And I LOVE it.  I mean… really LOVE it.  This is my favorite age so far, between 18 mo and 3yrs.  I absolutely enjoy watching their language and concept development.  I love watching the wheels turn in their head, waiting with anticipation of what amazing thought might pop out of their little mouths.  My two oldest kids both talked earlier than pediatricians’ averages.  C had more than fifty words at 18 mo, but E, oh E… she was there at 15 mo.  I can only guess at the reasons they are so talkative so early… I’m sure the research is out there, which is probably why experts say things like: read to your child from birth.  And we do that… we read LOTS of books, at least three every night before bed and even one before nap time.  We also never used any baby talk, and just explain things as they are with regular meaningful words.  Whether they understand every word is not important, they are hearing and absorbing.  My little sponges.  I also don’t lie to avoid a lengthy explanation.  That just seems so unfair… kids get it.  They can understand lots of things if I take the time to explain it with the correct words and then us some analogy from their world so they can understand it in their terms.  It’s actually really fun for me to try to figure out a way to answer some of their questions like… “Is God ever disobedient?” or “Why was M in your belly and how’d she get out?”   Those were doosies.  We used sign language starting at 12mo, which helped tremendously to avoid lots of tantrums over frustrating misunderstanding.  C knew about twenty signs by the time he was ready to full out talk, but E only learned about eight before she was using words.  “Forget this signing thing, I’m just going to say ‘thank you!’” is what I assume went though her head.  So I don’t say all of this to brag about my kids… I am leading to a point here.  What I’ve been thinking about is our kids’ development in the land of ever changing technology…

May 15, 2012: Where is my iPhone?  I know I left it on the living room couch.  I was using it as a remote for our Apple TV.  Hmmm… Where is E?  and why is it so quiet around here?  I find her in the playroom with her back to me, as she’s leaning on her elbows on the couch.  I hear her voice, only it’s not coming from her mouth… it’s coming from a video she’s playing back on my iPhone.  She notices me, and giggles, runs to the corner of the room and hides her new-found toy behind her back.  It was all I could do not to laugh and try to reprimand her for taking my phone.  This girl is smart.  She’s smart because she’s observant and acts on what she’s observed.  I’m pretty sure all kids do this.  She watches me swipe the screen, take photos, look at photos, find music, whatever, and then she tries it… usually without my permission.  But sometimes I give her the green light… and watch her work.  I am utterly amazed by how much she can do on that phone.  She and C are obsessed with the William Tell Overture, and just a few days ago she figured out how to find it, play it and turn up the volume.  Her sentiments about it all were: It’s LOUD!

But I was so proud.  Proud because our world is changing, and she the one who is going to be in the midst of it all.  Our kids will need to learn how to interface with technology.  Not that they need to spend all their time doing so… I still want them to be kids who run, climb, jump and play outside, read books made of paper, color, paint, and build puzzles.  However, they are going to need these tech skills  as much as they need language skills... and they have already acquired some of these skills much earlier than I would have anticipated.  For goodness sake, my baby hears grandma's voice on my iPhone and expects to SEE her too!  I guess it might be truly time for an iPad.  Daddy?!  Are you ready for this?  Christmas might come a bit early this year.

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