It is not uncommon now to see kids, as young as two plus, playing on their iPads. Thanks to Steve Jobs, kids now grow up with Angry Birds, not Sesame Street's Big Bird. I doubt if kids now know who is Big Bird.
So, is there anything wrong with this scenario? Parents who want the best for their children know the answer. How often do we observe such sights nowadays?
* a child playing an educational toy such as Lego or even a toy gun or those detachable toy pieces. Toys are essential in a child's life, no doubt about this. It stimulates their mind, it occupies them in an intelligent way, they discover their own strengths and weaknesses in the process of handling and playing the toys and a host of other benefits. I used to occupy my kids with toys while we were out on trips, while on waiting line etc. Now, you hear deafening shooting sound coming from a 'book-like' digital gadget.
* a child reading. With the hoo-ha about how little Malaysians read, what are we, parents doing about this phenomenon while our kids are still young? Do we now see parents reading together with a child, while waiting for their turn in banks or clinic or any public places? Sadly, what can be seen are situations where the mother is 'watching over' a poor kid 'struggling' to complete her homework. This is more common. Or, kids glued to a rectangle gadget while the parent is busy surfing on his iPhone.
* how about just a mother-daughter's or father-son's small talks? Communication is important, what more in this society where everyone seems to be so very busy with their life, pursuing, most of the time wealth or others which ironically doesn't benefit the children so much. Lack of communication or bonding with parents is said to be a factor for juvenile delinquence. Yet, we find this becoming so rare, especially in this IT era.
Kids talk but to their friends via a digital gadget using broken language, they write in acronyms only they understand on the web with all their friends. Four letter words are so commonly used on this era's most-loved book, Facebook.
Parents are well-aware of the danger of exposing young kids to excessive television or computer games and yet you see parents bringing along the 'must-have' iPad when they go out with kids. Isn't this bringing the computer games closer to them? The only difference is iPad is mobile whereas the computer is sitting at home.
Kids are now fed with iPad time, seen as a norm now to occupy them with this 'in' gadget. Kids gather, not to talk or chat or 'fight' their kungfu stunts. They crowd around an iPad, shooting pigs. What a smart game!
Understandably, our family doesn't own any iPhone or iPad. A second-hand older version of iPad is very much within reach and it's rather tempting to be part of this current trend of technology. However, we opt out in this aspect.