This isn’t a Technology Problem, It’s a Parenting Problem.

Kid tying pink shoelaces
I read an article at NewTechCity and it had something that irked me. I quoted it below:

Nineteen percent of kids between the ages of two and five know how to use a smartphone application, while just nine percent can tie his or her shoelaces, according to a 2010 study conducted as part of a year-long 'Digital Diaries' research project on the influence of technology on children by the internet security company AVG.

via New Tech City: Are Touchscreens and Social Media Good for Kids? Plus, 3D Printing Puts Down Roots in NYC - WNYC.

You have to agree that the statement is misleading and sensationalist at best. The study, based on that quote, seems like a joke to me. I'll have to dig into it a little more but it just seems bogus to me.

I'm pretty sure that kids learning technology and how to use devices is only helpful to their development and future skills and abilities. I also have to say that kids have to be guided and as parents we need to balance their activities.

If kids between the ages of two and five don't know how to tie their shoelaces, you can't blame smartphones or tablets or other technology. You have to blame the parents for sucking at being parents and failing to teach basic things like tying one's shoelaces! Perhaps we should develop apps for tablets and smartphones that teach kids how to do these basic things. Then we can really outsource all parenting to technology while we stuff our faces with potato chips on the couch.

I love that people do research and studies to learn more about ourselves, but sometimes the obvious is staring at us right in the face and we refuse to acknowledge it. If your kid isn't able to do normal things that he or she should be able to do at his age (and he or she doesn't have a disability) then it most likely is your fault for not guiding your kid along the right path. Don't blame technology.

There, I said it. Now watch it come back to bite me in the butt when I have my own kid.

3 Comments

  1. Agreed. Don’t blame technology. If your kid has a problem tying his shoelaces, technology is not to blame. My 5yo knows how to work an app, play a YouTube video on my phone, and play Cut the Rope better than most adults. But because he wears velcro shoes, is he inadequate?

    And let me add, I don’t think I suck being a parent either. LOL There are certain things that you focus on as your kid grows, and that focus is different for different people. Obviously I don’t believe that he needs to be able to tie his shoes in Kindergarten. But if he wasn’t able to read, then I’d spend more time on it. He can’t swing by himself on the swings, but he can dribble a basketball better than most kids his age. You’ll quickly learn that you can’t focus on everything…or you’ll fail at everything.

  2. Oh, the joys of parenting. Fear not a child who knows how to use a cell phone, but be very afraid when they discover credit cards.

  3. Though I’m sure technology isn’t helping, I do agree with you! Maybe they could come out with an app teaching kids to tie their shoes? 😛

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