Sunday, July 17, 2016

Technology and Toddlers: A Bad Mix

     Is anyone else like me, they become most frustrated when using a computer, phone etc? I know that my computer and phone can take me from a great mood to wanting to teach them to fly in a matter of seconds. My mood can go from happy to angry with one click, or rather one glitch.  I have also watched my son become angry and agitated when his phone or computer do not work correctly. But watching my sweet grandson become someone I had never seene before because of a piece of technology confirmed my belief that technology is not for toddlers. I don't even think kids should use it until they are in their teens or at least their exposure should be limited. But for toddlers I think it is a way to promote anger and it is a source of frusteration, one a toddler does not need. Actually a toddler really doesn't even need technology, they should be interacting with people and playing with toys or boxes or whatever else they have around.

     When my youngest son was three years old his grandma got him a Leapfrog Leap Pad or something of that nature. What it was is this pad with the alphabet and buttons he pushed. When he pushed the buttons the Leap Pad phonemically said the sound of the letter. It was fun for him and he learned all of his letter sounds by 4 years old. So, when my grandson turned 3 my dad gave him some money for his birthday and I thought a Leap Pad would be a great thing to buy with the money.The don't have the one like my son had so I got the actual Leap Pad. It is sure not what I thought it was. It is not really a learning tool, it is more like a computer for little kids. So, I tucked it away and decided that he did not need it, at least not at my house.

     The other day he discovered the Leap Pad and his mom was at my house too. She figured it out and showed him how to use it. I didn't even know how to figure it out ha ha. He was washing his pet and other things which is harmless so after she left I went ahead and let him play with it. He was having fun so I thought it would do no harm. Then like any other gadget, it ran out of soap for him to wash the puppy. I didn't know how to get more and it said that it would get more the next day. So I just told him he would have to wait until tomorrow. Of course being only 3 he doesn't really grasp "tomorrow." What came after was something I had never seen from him and I vowed right then and there that he would never use that machine while at my house again.

     My sweet little grandson who doesn't throw fits and who is rather easy going got mad and started pounding his fist on the couch. Then he would yell and it was not your typical yell, it was viscous. He was mean and angry. I did not like what I saw, I made him sit for a while until he calmed down. After that he was fine and I did not see that behavior again.

     I got to thinking of it and understood his anger because technology makes me feel the same way but I am older and control my anger. However there are times I have to just walk away. Well imagine you are just a toddler and feel that same anger, you have no idea how to control it so you just let it out. To me no child should be placed in a situation where they feel that kind of anger and frusteration and well, contrary to what others might believe in society today, technology can prompt anger and frustration beyond our control.

     Has anyone else experienced this from a toddler?