In a recent blog I confessed I’m an old fashioned fuddy-duddy. It should then come as no shock I’m about to be a scrooge concerning a product I just read Fisher-Price targeted at your toddlers this Christmas, the iXL. As a disclaimer I have never seen this device in person and my opinion is simply based upon what I read on Fisher-Price’s own website concerning this kids “toy”.
Their promotional material [on fisher-price.com] says, “These days, even preschoolers want cool digital devices. Wait ’til they get their hands on iXL—the learning, entertainment and media center just for kids. Like them, it’s small but powerful. Full of creative fun. And very, very smart. It flips open and turns from a book to a game player and so much more—it’s like having six digital devices in one!”
Now I don’t doubt they are correct about our kids seeing us on our iPhones, laptops and other devices and wanting to play with one, too. I also know many want to eat donuts, candy and potato chips at breakfast, lunch and dinner. That doesn’t mean we let them. Sure kids need to learn about technology at some point in order to be competitive, but are the toddler years when their little brains are still forming the right time?
I worry giving too much access to TV, computers and other such devices at an early age might literally rewire their little brains. I’m no neuroscientist, but this really worries me. Am I alone? I don’t mean to pick on Fisher Price… well, in this case I do… but they make plenty of cool gifts that let kids use their imaginations and play like… well, like kids and not like little adults. They grow up too fast already.
Is it just me or are we introducing technology to our toddlers too soon? Could there be a developmental impact? Wouldn’t they be better off playing outside on a nice day? Maybe mom or dad could run along side them as they ride a bike for the first time or camp out together in the back yard overnight in sleeping bags – flashlights being the only battery operated devices present. What’s wrong with crayons and paper?
Am I just a grumpy old fuddy-duddy or do you see a potential problem with this as well? To be clear, I’m inviting dissent. Tell me I’m wrong… tell me I’m right… tell me to get off my high-horse and post another cute photo of my daughter… just tell me something. Oh, and “hitting” the “like” button below does not mean you necessarily agree. 😉 I know you’re there… I can hear you breathing.