Raising Gadget-Savvy Kids

(Image: Amazon.com)

The New York Times today released a piece about gadgets for kids. The key question is this:

At what age should children get their first cellphone, laptop or virtual persona?

The article goes on to cite how A) technology and B) what psychologist Jean Piaget’s labels the four stages of cognitive development in children, can mesh nicely. For example:

Ages 0-2/Piaget’s first stage, called “sensorimotor.” Technology products must act like a busy-box, with lights or sounds that respond to a child’s actions. Toys like the Laugh and Learn 2-in-1 Learning Kitchen ($71, www.Fisher-Price.com), which has doors and switches for a baby to explore and a crawl-through doorway, fit well with this stage.

During the next three cognitive stages, children are weened onto cameras, cellphones, Wii games, and, ultimately, the Internet. It’s modern parenting, techie style. Except that techie has become the norm, and people who don’t inure their spawn to the world of gadgets will be old-fashioned.

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