A nation of sissies, and other consequenses of overparenting

This is a very interesting article I read in the New Yorker which touches on the subject of over-parenting and how it is effecting the children of today, called The Child Trap. Here’s a short excerpt:

“…(It) used to be known as “spoiling.” Now it is called “overparenting”—or “helicopter parenting” or “hothouse parenting” or “death-grip parenting.” The term has changed because the pattern has changed. It still includes spoiling—no rules, many toys—but two other, complicating factors have been added. One is anxiety. Will the child be permanently affected by the fate of the hamster? Did he touch the corpse, and get a germ? The other new element—at odds, it seems, with such solicitude—is achievement pressure. The heck with the child’s feelings. He has a nursery-school interview tomorrow. Will he be accepted? If not, how will he ever get into a good college? Overparenting is the subject of a number of recent books, and they all deplore it in the strongest possible terms.”

<click here for the full article>

A similar article appeared in Babble.com around the idea of a “Kindergarchy”:

“kindergarchy — defined by Paul McFedries on The Word Spy as “Rule or domination by children; the belief that children’s needs and preferences take precedence over those of their parents or other adults.” This new word has spread quickly, concisely capturing the feeling that the lollipops of childhood have been replaced by royal scepters, with which parents and bystanders are soundly bludgeoned.”

<click here for the full article>

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Baby Tech – It’s never too early

For that baby-on-the-go, how about baby’s first MP3 player?

A Music Box for the 21st Century

While MP3 players trend toward smaller and more function-filled with every iteration, tiny and complicated isn’t really what you want in a toddler-friendly product. The important adjectives there are ones like “non-toxic,” “durable,” and “easy-to-find-when-misplaced-under-a-pile-of-toys.” And Baby’s First MP3 Player is music to our ears, literally. It’s a large, rugged, single-piece design, molded from rubber that meets FDA food-grade specifications. Three large buttons invite baby to play or stop the songs, and also hide a super-secret menu for the parents, which includes volume control, a must-have on any product for little ones. Instead of subjecting your iPod to curious, little fingers, give your little ones their own MP3 player to do with as they wish. Your iPod will thank you.

b15d_babys_first_mp3_player
Product Specifications

  • For ages 0-6 years
  • 1 AA battery (included) for 40 hours of use
  • 1 GB memory (16 hours at 128 kbit/s data rate)
  • Music preloaded from award-winning artist Susie Tallman & Friends and Jim Weiss, award winning storyteller
  • Three programmable playlists
  • Integrated speaker
  • LCD display (track number and battery status)
  • USB port (cable included)
  • Headphone jack (headphones not included)
  • AC adapter jack (AC adapter not included)
  • Programmable automatic shut-off timer
  • Hidden volume control
  • 6 1/2″ high

<original link>

Coding for Kids

This is a cool post I read about a new programming language released by Microsoft that is especially for kids, called Small Basic.

After a year in the making, and with very little fanfare, Microsoft last month launched Small Basic, a free programming language aimed at kids. Unlike Scratch and Alice, tools designed for kids to learn programming in a ‘codeless’ environment, Small Basic is essentially a small version of the BASIC language.

Original story on the Microsoft Development Network website