Posts Tagged ‘social intelligence’

The Debate Over Handheld Devices for Babies & Children

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

BabyOnIPadThere has been a hurricane of cyber-buzz this past week over a HuffPo piece entitled, “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.” It went viral, natch.

What I want to say about that piece is
a) it is a comprehensive collection of research that should be of critical interest to parents
b) I am not the type to seek bans on such things; rather, I advocate that we as humans develop mastery and dominion over these creations of ours. Let our Frankenstein’s monsters work for us rather than against us.

As my daughter Eve once said, “We’ve all been baptized in technology.” Boy, did that spin me around and send me thinking. I wrote the following Parenting for Peace passage in reference to birth technology, but it totally applies to these questions about handheld devices:

Yes, most of us have been baptized in technology, so let us embrace the blessings of our modern brilliance, which was originally meant to bring freedom. Nothing has the power to control us once we can name the players and the game, once we can free ourselves from the prevailing fear-based group think and become capable of making choices that are in the best peacemaking interests of ourselves, our children, and the vibrant future of humanity. 

{Read more about this debate at mothering.com} 

Image:
sonyanews, through its Creative Commons license

Does Siri Thwart Social Intelligence?

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

During my infrequent strolls through Costco, a persistent thought comes to me (besides yum, those pizza samples are good) — If I were an evil genius wanting to erode the nutritional wellbeing of a civilization, this would be a good first step: Induce mass consumer hypnosis via the big-box store. (Will return to this point in a bit.)

During my infrequent strolls down streets with actual pedestrians, a persistent question comes to me: How will it effect this generation’s social intelligence, that the world of relating has so radically morphed from person-to-person to person-to-screen?

In the half-decade between my son’s junior and my daughter’s freshman years in high school, I witnessed his late-night telephone confabs (on a landline, gasp, when conference calls were a cool innovation) give way to her disembodied “connectivity” with Facebook friends. This glaring (de?)evolution announced itself through our walls: where there was once the sound of my son’s human voice — expressing the dynamic range of emotions endemic to the adolescent — now there was… silence. Save for an occasional giggle or groan from my daughter as she digested the latest posts. {Read more of this at mothering.com}

NOTE: Mothering posts don’t allow video embeds, so here’s the 90-second video of a little boy trying to interact with Siri:

Turbo-Charge Baby’s Brain Development w/ the Mommy Mind Meld

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

The Power of Parental Example

[Even though I refer to the “mommy” mind meld, these principles apply to whomever are the two or three connected, nurturing adults in an infant’s life — father, grandmother, consistent (not rotating) caregiver.]

Imitation is the young child’s primary form of learning, which is why one of my first bits of guidance to parents coming to me for counseling is (more…)

*** Add Your Voice to the Mommy Mind-Meld Blog Tour! ***

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I’m being hosted on five fabulous parenting sites for a discussion of “The Mommy Mind Meld: Turbo-Charge Your Baby’s Brain Development.” This new, very short YouTube video makes for a good prologue to the tour, which begins in just a few hours (whee!!):

(more…)

The Roots of Conscience: Attachment, Pleasure, Then Empathy

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

[Excerpted from Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers, by Marcy Axness, PhD]

Connection and Conscience: The Foundations of Peace

Whenever a heinous, violent act is committed, there is talk of a lack of conscience in the perpetrator. The question of what builds a conscience has long engrossed philosophers, psychologists, and even Disney imagineers (who decided Pinocchio’s conscience looks a little like a cockroach, carries a watch fob and goes by the name of Jiminy Cricket). James Prescott’s massive, cross-cultural study of the root causes of violence, together with the body of bonding and attachment research, point clearly to the fact that (more…)

Does iPhone’s Siri Thwart Social Intelligence?

Monday, February 13th, 2012

A thought occurred to me years ago on one of my maiden strolls through Costco (besides yum, those mini pizzas are good): If I were an evil genius wanting to erode the nutritional wellbeing of a civilization (not to mention the individuality of its citizens), this would be a good first step. Induce mass consumer hypnosis via the big-box store. (Will return to this point in a bit.)

In the half-decade between my son’s junior and my daughter’s freshman years in high school, I witnessed his late-night telephone confabs (on a landline, gasp, when conference calls were a cool innovation) give way to her disembodied “connectivity” with Facebook friends. (more…)

What Is “Peace”?

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Occasionally when I’m telling people about my new book, they hesitate over the notion of raising a “peacemaker.” (Don’t worry—this happens only very occasionally!) They flinch at the idea that I might be campaigning to raise a generation of wimps… peaceniks… idly sunny beings whose inertia might only allow for a round or two of “Kumbaya”—in perfect harmony, of course. No. What I mean by a peacemaker is a socially healthy human being: an intelligent person whose brain is wired with the capacity for inner balance, empathy, and enlightened social action. (more…)