Joie de vivre in a plugged in world…

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joie de vivre: keen or buoyant enjoyment of life ~ Merriam-Webster, Inc.

My husband and I are in New Hampshire to visit our one and only grandchild… oh yeah,  we came to see her parents too but in all honesty,  they kind of take second fiddle to this vibrant little girl who is now a toddler (soon to be the age of two in a week).  Being a parent is one thing but as I am sure any grandparent can tell you… when you first hear a little human being say “Poppa!” and “Granmomma!”… there is definitely no sweeter music to your ears!

My daughter-in-law said the other day “I had these great plans on how I was going to raise my child…”.  She was talking about how she was only going to feed her daughter certain foods but those plans went out the window when she found herself with a very picky eater.  I think parents also believe that they are going to limit the amount of time their child is front of a TV or watching videos.  Then reality hits and sometimes out of the need for at least a moment’s respite,  the TV gets turned on or the video is plugged in.

So is the barrage of technology on our babies a bad thing?  Are we warping these young brains by having them “plugged” in on a regular basis?

I used to think that there is too much emphasis on having our children get into pre-school and learning to do their ABC’s and counting to ten.  Focus had seemed to move from play to academics for our wee ones and I was always of the opinion that children spend enough time in school once they hit that age.   I thought we should let them learn through play when they are really young and not have a focus on trying to have them be the smartest child going into kindergarten.  Today I am re-thinking my position…

This little grandbaby of ours is not quite two and she can count to ten… she can say her ABCs (not always perfectly but at a strong 80%) and she is just really starting to talk!  She learned this by herself watching Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba.  As  I am writing this blog and we are driving on a day trip to Maine,  she is watching a DVD in the mini-van (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).  She is singing along, learning new words and matching up different animals with the sounds they make.   She is connecting the dots… and she is happy!  Her legs are kicking… her arms are pumping up and down and she is grinning from ear to ear… true joie de vivre in the best sense of the word!

My husband and I tend to think that she is probably the brightest almost two year old child in the universe but the reality is… she the new generation… a generation of children who are “plugged in”… a generation of children who are more advanced in their toddler years than their parents or grandparents ever were… a generation of children who will ultimately be the movers and the shakers… the leaders of our world…

I can only hope that I live a nice long life so I can see this generation be all that they can be!

How does technology help you to find your joie de vivre? 

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