My youngest daughter (AKA, Tech 2.0, AKA, Pooter) turned 3 years old this past weekend. We asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She’s into “Dora The Explorer”, so she had a laundry-list of Dora-branded merchandise she required.
Since I’m a techie, I had half a mind to give her a ton of age-appropriate gadgets to as they say “train up a child…” So I did some research of course found a magnitude of geeky toys you would expect my kids would have. Suprisingly, my other half wasn’t so sure about forcing encouraging her to adopt technology so soon.
Since she is only 3, I’m certain she would’ve loved anything we bought her. Conversly, she has the attention span of your average 3 year-old. So no matter how big her eyes got after unwrapping them, and no matter how interactive or educational the tech gifts were, she would be “on to the next” probably sooner than I would have liked, especially if I spent a good amount of money on not only the gadgets, but also the must-have accessories.
Additionally, I wasn’t born a techie. Growing up my parents were just below middle-class, so we didn’t have all the latest and greatest tech gifts of our time. Fast forward to today, all I can think about are gadgets. As a result, slowly but surely, my kids will be exposed to technology simply by watching Mrs. Tech and I. I mean, they already know how to unlock our mobile devices and navigate the screens to get to their favorite apps & games.
In the end, “Granny & Pop-Pop Tech” went overboard and got her a bunch of stuff, while Mrs. Tech and I made a compromise and got her some items off her “Dora List” while sneaking some tech in there and got her a cute little digital camera…that takes horrible shots, but is cute.
Technology is everywhere. My girls are only 5 and 3, so they will undoubtedly grow up in the digital age. Eventually, we will start integrating S.T.E.M. type stuff into their daily routine. But for now, I think I will let my kids just be kids and enjoy some of the simple things that we grew up on like dolls, blocks and candy.
What do you think? How soon should parents start introducing tech into their kid’s lives?