Happy New Year in 2020!
“Technology has changed, but on one changed the children!”
See this concept featured in the article below that I wrote for the ArizonaRepublic, published December 18, 2019.
“Every child is entitled to having the finest experiences, and every parent should know how to provide them. Every minute counts!”
I wish you all the joy possible in the coming year. I also hope that each time you interact with modern day digital devices that you take every precaution necessary to avoid the dangers they present for young children.
~ Dr. Sally
Parenting Specialist, www.earlychildhoodnews.net, firstname.lastname@example.org
Text for the article cited above: Babies need all the experiences you provide!
By Sally Goldberg, Ph.D.
As a professor of early childhood education and parenting specialist for many years, one particular concept kept coming up over and over. “Technology has changed, but no one changed the children.” Every child is unique, and all are precious. Each one has his or her own likes and dislikes, and they all thrive on love. While none of them will turn away from the lure of cell phones, iPads and computers, all of them will gravitate first to what adults can do best—love them.
Continually growing from stage to stage and thriving on unending nurturing, children crave more than anything else their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and close friends because those are the people who know exactly how to make them feel valued, needed and important. This particular group have one thing in common. They care about the child. Old, young, big, small, loud or quiet, taken together they provide a training ground for all future relationships.
Months ago I saw a mom rushing into a bagel shop carrying by the handle her little one in a car/infant seat. Just as she pulled open the left-hand door she banged the baby carrier on the right-hand one. Then she quickly found a table and sat down. After placing the baby, still immersed in the seat, on the floor, she took out her cell phone and promptly started rocking the seat with her foot.
Was she doing her best? Absolutely, Did she know that every bit of human contact is related to successful future development? Absolutely not. She had no idea that all babies need as much positive attention as they can get. She is not alone. Most people do not know that. “Every child is entitled to having the finest experiences, and every parent should know how to provide them. There is not a moment to waste.”
Days ago I saw a mom in an airport. She was holding her six-month old baby son in her lap and was using her cell phone at the same time. Soon the baby started squirming. To stop his discomfort she covered him with a nursing blanket and began her feeding. After about three seconds the baby started kicking from under the blanket. To solve that problem she took the cover away and held her baby once again. As soon as the baby was settled, she went back to using her cell phone once again. No luck this time either. The squirming resumed, and she finally had to put the cell phone away. Was she doing her best? Absolutely. Did she know that hugging, touching, talking and responding are the building blocks of a strong early foundation? Absolutely not. She had no idea. We are all a product of our experiences, and every one is important.
There are eight stages of development during the years from birth to age three, the formative years, and there are five areas of development—cognitive, motor, social, language and self-esteem. If you know a handful of developmental activities for each age and stage, you have the building blocks for hours of fun, learning and attachment. This is also the kind of early guidance that research tells us is associated with better health, happiness and self-esteem in a child’s adult years.
“Technology has changed, but no one changed the children.” Every “connected” minute counts!