Help Our Children Learn to Interact
an exclusive feature by Sarina Peddy, GPL Executive Assistant and Pre School Teacher*
This era of technology has created a world where two-year-olds use digital devices before they are even out of diapers. People walk with their heads down texting and using their PDA as they navigate the sidewalk, and children are growing up where the art of communication is anything but looking each other in the eye and talking.
As an educator, I see parents depending on an app on their iPhone to help them have peace of mind that their child is being well cared for. In the private pre-school where I currently work, each classroom is given an iPad. With this iPad, the teachers update the parents via the app (preschool app) every two hours or during transitional periods. The parents are informed of when their child has eaten their meals (and how much of it they finished), when they have had a bathroom break (also when accidents happen), and what time he or she goes down for a nap and when they wake up. Do you think you would like this type of communication with your child or grandchild’s teacher?
Is your little one getting too much ‘screen time’? Moderation should be encouraged and modeled. While we do not know about the future of technology and how it might look in the years to come, we do have ample studies on the effects of screen time, stating that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends television and other entertainment media be avoided entirely for infants and children under age 2.
Yes, technology has changed the way we relate and communicate with each another; whether it is for the better remains to be seen. What we must pay attention to is that face-to-face communication is essential. Older generations will argue technology is destroying conversation; younger generations will argue technology is enhancing it. Only time will tell. But either way, our children will forever live in a world where their immediate elders (parents) respect and expect verbal conversation. Future generations may value it less. In the meantime, for our children to be successful in communicating with older generations, they must be able to communicate both online and in-person. Let’s create both opportunities for them.
*Sarina Peddy is a Pre School Teacher and Grandparentslink’s Executive Assistant. She is a Long Island native who has worked her way through the education field for the past six years, as well as working with GPL from the beginning. With her background in childhood education, she loves brainstorming with us here at GPL for exciting activities to do with kids, how to manage their behaviors, and even helps teach us some tricks to get them to eat! Ms. Peddy recently received her Master’s degree in Education at Hunter College in Manhattan.