A recent obituary hit me surprisingly hard: “Paint-by-Numbers Maestro Dan Robbins Dies at 93.” The mere mention of the paint-by-numbers inventor transported me back to my childhood dining room table where I would sit for hours engrossed in my latest "masterpiece.” You could say I was addicted to that low-tech pursuit. I thought of that addiction while reading Adam Alter’s recent book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. Thirty years from now, whose obituary might send today’s kids back to a passion or hobby in our current homes? Some kind of … [Read more...]
At the end of this past summer, my wife and I bought our sixth grader a cell phone. Right now, many of you are groaning. You're probably thinking, “A sixth grader? Really?!?” Yep, we did, but, here’s the good news. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. We bought our daughter a cell phone for a few different reasons… Because I’m no longer a full-time stay-at-home dad, there will be occasions where she will be a latchkey kid. It won’t happen often, but when it does, it will be nice for her to call us (side note we don’t have a landline … remember those?) She got her Safe Sitter … [Read more...]
“I am Groot,” is what I should have said, but that’s his line. Instead I said it in my native tongue, and this time with feeling: “You’re being a jackass.” And he was. Still, calling my son names in a fit of anger hadn’t been on my Sunday morning itinerary. Rather, I had planned for it to open like every Sunday does, with Nina Simone playing over cups of coffee, me in an apron and something on the griddle dangerously close to burning. Plan B, apparently, was standing in the doorway of my sons’ shared bedroom, repeating myself in competition with electronics that they weren’t supposed … [Read more...]
Screen time -- how much is too much for children when everywhere you go -- including the classroom -- you find a television, computer, gaming system, tablet or smartphones?
NPR Digital Education Correspondent Anya Kamenetz thinks she has the answer for you beleaguered fathers and mothers.
The award-winning journalist and author appears on the latest edition of the Modern Dads Podcast to offer practical advice and research findings from her new book, The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life.
Kamenetz … [Read more...]
Over the summer we received a letter from my future kindergartner’s school saying ALL kindergartener would be using iPads as part of the regular school day. These “device days” would take place throughout the school year and kids would be encouraged to bring their own tablet from home. They even had an acronym for it: BYOD - Bring Your Own Device. My acronym for BYOD was WTF, but I calmed down a bit and settled on OMG. Why would my kindergartner need to take an iPad to school? All I see her use it for at home is watching YouTube videos of other people opening toys (the pros call it … [Read more...]