Yesterday my attention was caught by a very cute little boy, running around and testing the anxiety levels of his mother. She would chase him, he would run. It didn’t take too long before she had the problem solved though, and it was such an easy solution. She propped her cellphone up, jamming it between two slats on the table, and he was instantly quiet, sitting there like a little robotic statue, for the rest of their time together. He was completely oblivious of the excitement around him. It was actually quite weird, and his mom saw me looking at him, said “That’s the only way he’s happy now! Me too!”
This really made me think. There’s a new kind of happiness out there now. Tech happiness.
- team-working Traditionalists, Great Depression survivors,born up to 1946. They're also known as the silent, uncomplaining generation.
- disciplined, hard working, self assured Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
- X generation (1965-1976). These were the first latch key kids, raised to be self reliant, and often learning to live in divorced families, as they become more in number.
- Y generation, often known as the Millennials, or “me” crowd(1977-1995). These are the next parents, of the next generation.
- and now, thanks to the latter and their obsession with technology, a new generation is rapidly emerging - the Centennials screen generation, born after 1996. Seems like they're the Z generation. With the technology savvy and self expectations of their parents they will have lives unlike anything ever imagined by most folks in the past.
Newborns need sleep - lots of it!
Here's a great, hands off way to get that little new person in our world to sleep - so simple, I'm embarrassed even to suggest it. A lovely 10 minute remedy!
Problem solved. Let's go no further with this!
Babies need to be fed
This is when you bring out the automatic baby feeder (Please click on the green).
After all you may be busy working out on the treadmill in your parents basement, or there may be countless other things that you need to do for yourself. Besides, no one ever thought to have you hold an actual infant and get experience on how to feed her!
But let's say, just for argument, those parents substitute technology instead of themselves for intimate care of their child. Instead of cradling him in their arms, why not an automatically soothing chair that relieves parents of the onerous task of burping and holding their little one?
It's a miracle that any of us survived our babyhood, when our parents ( shame on them!) didn't even think about baby monitors. Instead, they'd keep a child close to them, or one or the other would check on baby. And of course, because infants are so adorable when they sleep, you couldn't help but stroke the little one when you saw them close up like this. It was strictly hands on. The child soon learned his important role in the scheme of things too, giving vent to various cries for his needs that parents learned to interpret. Now parents have wifi monitors, some of which give constant data on the child’s vital signs. Parents can monitor from afar, feeling confident that all is well with little Joey.
No problem. You really don't have to bother much about it, because by two years of age most children now are adept at use of an iPad, or smartphone. Guaranteed to keep them quiet and absorbed, even when on a potty. So why not actually have an iPad holder on the potty? (Click the green print if you want to see it.)
There’s only one drawback to this. How does your child actually know when to go? Well, it just so happens you can get an electronic alarm that fits on the toddler’s diaper. You just set it, and the child then knows either to get to the potty, or tell you she has to go.
How do you keep your child quiet when shopping?
Toddlers are annoying when you take them out in this situation. But how do you keep them quiet? Ear phones are fantastic for this purpose. Get some for you, and baby by now should have learned how to use them, so easy-peasy quiet shopping is just a few more dollars away.
It goes without saying that if you need need peace and quiet at home, at any time when you're busy with something else ( and who isn’t?) the TV will always come to your aid. You could think of it as your first responder!
Admittedly, if you were to use all these wonderful knick knacks, you'd better be moderately wealthy, but anyone knows the US Department of Agriculture (huh?) estimated that raising a child born in 2013 is going to cost an average of $304,480 by the time that child is 18 years old. So, obviously, nothing is too good or expensive for that precious little bundle of joy.
If this is correct, obviously not everyone is wealthy enough, or many times knowledgeable enough to actually raise one child, let alone multiples. But they do. Every child has a different upbringing, unique because of their genetics, and their culture, plus their economic status.
So, if a child does not have the advantage of all the latest parental conveniences, does this mean he/she is disadvantaged in life?
I've been fascinated to see the thirst for basic education, the joy and curiosity, the respect for elders and parents, that is almost a worldwide hallmark of children labeled as very poor. Without access to electronics, they devise ways to learn with just rudimentary equipment from nature; to cope with hunger and to appreciate the smallest gestures of a hand up in life. If they do get that helping hand they seem to move forward with great success and determination. In future this may be a better way of judging advantage over disadvantage.
Do I appreciate this because there are echoes of a long lost generation I remember?
What memories will these Z kids have of their childhoods when they grow up? I can’t help wondering what the future will bring.