Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 17, 2013 /14 Teves, 5774

Geek babies? Say it ain't so

By Dan K. Thomasson




JewishWorldReview.com | There are bad ideas and then there are BAD ideas. The difference of course is in the potential for harm.

A recent prime example of the latter can be found in Fisher-Price’s decision to begin exposing America’s babies to the wonder of technology within weeks of entering the world. What obviously seemed like a good idea at the time for one of the nation’s most respected manufacturers of educational toys is generating more than a little concern among those who think the rush to technological indoctrination has gone too far.

The company, a subsidiary of toy giant Mattel, is providing parents the opportunity to begin familiarizing their newborns with the earliest training possible in life’s increasingly necessary functions by attaching iPads or similar modern marvels to their bouncy seats. Another company, CTA Digital, is offering the same thing in a potty chair. The bouncy seats, originally designed to strengthen legs before learning to walk, will now allow the babies to experience the wonders of apps as they bob happily along. In fact, the seats are labeled the “Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat.” The potty trainer permits a toddler to while away the experience by tapping on a screen.

While I don’t remember my own experience with the potty trainer except I’m sure anything that would have distracted me from the business at hand while using it would have been welcomed. I do recall being told that my older sister who had decided to harass me while I was so engaged one day got too close and paid the consequence. Perhaps that wouldn’t have happened had I been exposed to a marvelous magical touch me screen on my chair.

As for my own kids, it also might have eliminated standing around encouragingly to view the results and when they were positive clapping loudly in praise of a job well done.

Seriously, is there any doubt in one’s mind that we have gone too far in our rush to reach global superiority in technology? The growing-up experience already includes a dubious reliance far too much on an ability to cut corners in learning by using data packed devices that do everything for us from spelling to calculating our math to shouting out solutions to problems.

Along the way millions of our children and grandchildren (in my case) spend hour upon hour staring at screens full of violence where they receive points for how many kills they register in an addictive ritual.

The main social contact many seem to have is with peers through “networks” they organize. They never get to know their fellow participants. None of this can be healthy. Psychologists have warned that this preoccupation with the games is severely threatening social development and could be responsible for anti-social behavior. One wonders what the great behaviorist B.F. Skinner would think about the increasing lack of interconnection with people.



Of course it will be up to the parents to decide whether they take advantage of the opportunity to attach pads to the bouncy seat. But it is not difficult to image that not only would a number of those mothers and fathers raised in this new tech world elect to do so, it also won’t be terribly long before kiddy devices a mere step below the adult models will be available or already fixed to the seats.

For a long time Fisher-Price has been a recognized, respected leader in toys that permit the development of motor and mental skills — often marvelous wooden and well-made plastic teaching tools that also enhance social learning. With that reputation in mind, it is marketing the latest venture as “a grow-with-me seat for babies that’s soothing, entertaining, has a touch of technology, too.”

The clamor against the idea however from the child development experts is considerable.

Dr. Victor Strausburger, a pediatric professor at the University of New Mexico’s Medical School, posed this question in an interview with the Washington Post. “Does anyone out there think the kids need more screen time,” he asked, calling it a “terrible idea.”

Obviously there is no way in this new culture that children can fail to be exposed to the technological revolution, even from an early age. Kids operate remote controls and other devices almost as toddlers. They learn quickly. But deliberately turning them into wonks as babies seems a fearful prospect we might seriously regret.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


12/10/13: Bank profits rise as taxpayers subsidize employees

11/22/13: The myth vs. reality of President Kennedy

11/04/13: How could NSA spying surprise Obama?

10/01/13: Remember Valerie Plame and her hubby? She -- and her publisher -- hope you do

09/10/13: Public schools need lessons in effective education

08/21/13: NNCAA reforms can't come too soon

08/09/13: Military justice system failing in Fort Hood case

08/02/13: Bradley Manning's case offers cautionary tale

07/30/13: Disciplining students requires perspective

07/23/13: Not quite your great-great-grandfather's log cabin

07/12/13: Courting diversity in college enrollment

06/24/13: Post-arrest DNA collection is justified

06/18/13: Tax reform may have effective Dynamic Duo

06/14/13: Stop outsourcing government secrets

06/10/13: IRS couldn't survive one of its own audits

05/31/13: Higher ed gaining more support from states

05/24/13: Does Obama have Plausible Deniability?

05/20/13: Google Glass is progress at a cost

03/25/13: NCAA's March Madness still scores points

02/27/13: School safety radicals make things considerably worse

02/21/13: Wrestling needs a firm hold on Olympics

02/18/13: Obama may be able to do little about gun violence

12/17/12: When is a majority not a majority?

12/12/12: Government snooping's historical precedent

11/13/12: Petraeus learns a lesson the hard way

10/26/12: High court must settle affirmative action

10/16/12: Report confirms SATs flawed indicator

08/20/12: All the news fit to tweet?

07/27/12: Economic disillusionment marks young voters' views

07/20/12: Will Postal Service follow Pony Express route?

07/13/12: Paterno's statue should be covered up

07/10/12: 8.2 jobless rate endangers Obama's job

07/03/12: It's still the economy, stupid

06/19/12: Mitt Romney's chances look better

06/08/12: Pakistan not an ally worthy of the name

06/05/12: Americans have a right to be bloated

06/01/12: Quota system would dilute school's quality

05/27/12: Even now, Memorial Day means summer camp

05/18/12: Is there a public right to know too much?

05/09/12: American exceptionalism --- exceptional generosity

05/04/12: The Edwards trial is a sorry affair

05/02/12: Common sense needs to be taught . . . to school administrators

04/30/12: We must deal with college student debt rate

04/10/12: At least Ryan has a deficit-cutting plan

04/05/12: Celebrate one-year rent-a-teams?

03/12/12: A kinder, gentler day when fists settled disputes

03/05/12: Do conservatives want a victory or a statement?

02/27/12: Hillary vs. Jeb?

02/17/12: Why wait for the until GOP nominating convention?

02/17/12: Prez is not a god, just a cause of O.G. D.: Obama Governmental Dysfunction

02/13/12: Minor tardiness doesn't warrant court action

02/08/12: College rankings aren't always reliable

02/01/12: Millionaire Fans Watching Millionaire Players

01/30/12: Kiriakou case may plug leaks, stifle democracy

01/09/12: Feds need to find if Brit hackers targeted 9/11 families

12/23/11: NIH flu-strain decision endangers us all

12/09/11: U.S. Postal Service may be beyond saving

11/30/11: Do-gooder gets deserved earful

11/24/11: Lawmakers should pledge to think on their own

11/22/11: Iowa: Vital to GOP now, irrelevant later

11/16/11: Pentagon's ‘senior mentor’ service takes hit

11/14/11: With Congress, expect more intransigence

11/08/11: Paterno's illustrious career faces tarnished end

10/31/11: The FBI is burned by its Boston informants

10/18//11: President Inexperienced again picked style and enthusiasm over caution. He must pay

10/10/11: Prosecutors routinely abuse plea bargaining

10/04/11: In Christie,shades of William Howard Taft

09/27/11: One word for Obama's prospects --- ‘bleak’

09/26/11: Obama quickly running out of time

09/23/11: Big-time college football is now all about the money

09/22/11: A trip to the dentist cleans out your wallet

09/06/11: College rankings a useless exercise

08/31/11: Thankful a mother isn't alive to see this hungry mess

08/30/11: ‘Supercommittee’ should meet in secret

08/22/11: Is college still worth it? Some majors are

08/15/11: Pray for miracle from debt committee

08/09/11: S&P mixes credit ratings with politics

08/08/11: Politics again takes precedence over common sense

08/04/11: In modern society, a distinct pattern of senselessness

07/29/11: A debt solution: Throw the rascals out, all of them

07/21/11: Campaign finance reform --- you're kidding, right!?

07/08/11: Casey Anthony jury did its job

07/05/11: Nailing a prominent figure or institution should come at a heavy risk — and an even greater price if proven a hoax





© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast