the drift


Friday, July 17, 2009

Toddlers On Computers Make Me Sad

This isn't going to win me any friends in my mom circles, but that's hardly surprising. The older the kids get, the more I think -- Where are the other gals like me? I'm not out there as far as mothering goes (I'm not dipping them in hourly baths of Purell nor am I making their clothes from recycled underwear). Where are the practical broads with a pragmatic skepticism of the tension between childhood and the cultural norms du jour?
Anyway, I digress folks.
An old classmate updated her FB status today with something to the effect that her 3 year old's soccer coach (btw you don't 'coach' 3 yr olds to do anything and if you do, you're a dbag) wants to move him up to the next age level 6 MOS EARLY. Also, her 3 yr old is taking Tots on Computers classes and doing really well in them -- do any teachers out there know of gifted daycare centers?
Ok, ok. I'm a horrible bitch for critiquing a mother's blind adoration of her child (which in this case in particular is just another exercise in narcissistic mothering but again I digress). We've got that out of the way so let's move on.
Surely, my first reaction to the post by this person is -- Yes, of course, your 3 yr old is gifted. (And hey, he might be, who fucking knows? He's THREE!)
Then I think, Ugh. I hope I never do that to my kids. Putting them in computer classes just as they're learning that poo goes in the toilet? That said -- she's not alone in that all sorts of media are constantly pulling our toddlers into that alpha multimedia brain state -- playing games and stuff on the computer, videos, frankenstein hybrid videos and games -- to deafening silence among the majority of parents I know who don't seem to notice the constant barrage.
and it makes me sad for these kids bcz they're probably going to be chained to a desk their whole life in front of a computer anyway. So he can click a button to pick the right shape on the computer screen? I'm pretty sure I've seen chickens at roadside tourist traps do that for food.
And what kind of brave new world/work makes free shit is that anyway?
Seriously, were mothers during the Industrial Revolution putting their 3 year olds in Cotton Gin courses for 'tots'? you know, just to get a head start. No! They did it for money and because childhood wasn't considered sacred but more a temporary deformity -- but we, evolved compassionate parents that we are, what do we do it for? In what world is a mother conditioned to think her child is gifted simply because he/she shows early signs of assimilation to work culture? Have we really become so obsessed with our children as accessories or statements on our intellect/coolness/upward mobility that we can't even grant them toddlerhood anymore? That even when we're covered in baby fat still and shitting our pants -- our synapses belong to info tech?
whatever. i'm not wrong. children shouldn't be these little mirrors held up to the cultural super-ego*. take your kid outside and go look at a butterfly or something.

(yeah, yeah comp lit friends i know that's clumsy. give me a break.)


At 11:03 AM, July 18, 2009 , Blogger Hyperblogal said...

I couldn't agree more.

At 11:40 AM, July 18, 2009 , Blogger You would never guess said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:33 PM, July 18, 2009 , Anonymous KOFS said...

are you kidding?? teach your kids to use the computer at an early age! teach them to talk and walk and socialize. you equate using the computer to a roadside chicken? the pc and the cell phone will be the center of your child's life. does your kid watch TV? TV watching is a useless talent... Like it or not video content delivery is going to shift from a DVD's and cable boxes to the internet just like music has.

Prepare your child equally, there is nothing wrong with teaching a kid how to use a computer.

At 2:57 AM, July 19, 2009 , Blogger rubigimlet said...

I'm not saying that they shouldn't know how to use a computer. what i'm saying is, do you really think having an offline toddler-hood is going to put your child at a disadvantage? or more specifically, are toddlers that are enrolled in computer courses gifted? no. my children certainly do watch videos and tv -- and i don't feel good about it. it's certainly nothing i would brag about as some indicator of them being gifted. if your child can assemble a 3-D puzzle by the kindergarten, they'll be able to use a computer at level to meet their needs in life. so, yes, absolutely, i'm equating using the computer to a highway sideshow. it takes no special talent. it's an idiot box just like the tv, as you so appropriately point out. so, why is a mother on facebook asking for a 'gifted daycare' for her child who can click a mouse button? it's no different than using a toaster. my nephew is 3 and can start the DVD player on his own. Does that mean he's gifted?

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