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Raising kids today is hard. Thankfully, there’s always a new gadget designed to make our lives easier. We have robotic bouncing chairs to soothe babies, talking toys, iPads and smartphones for easy access to everything, even harnesses to hook devices to the car seats! The downside is that it’s replacing human connection. There are plenty of studies on how harmful technology may be to toddlers. Technology is replacing the simple play that teaches and develops basic motor, sensory and problem solving skills. It’s enough to make you crazy and consume you with self-doubt. I can’t be the only mom who worries they don’t do enough to be an engaged parent.

We’re all guilty of relying on technology to soothe or engage a child. In my house, the biggest problem is that we love TV. Even after becoming a 100 percent TV streaming household, there’s something to watch and now we have unlimited seasons of Sesame Street. We bought an Amazon Echo to help keep our 18-month old twin boys entertained with music. It has been great. Alexa helps keep the TV off and often starts kitchen dance parties. But did I mention the unlimited seasons of Sesame Street? Cookie Monster is kind of a big deal. I’m guilty of giving them my phone, too. At first it was because they loved to look at pictures, but then suddenly there was a folder of “Babe Games.” That’s why my boys can open an app. Proud mom moment there....NOT!

With all of the extreme views of parenting nowadays, I try to find a balance that works for my family. I often think if the technology was around when my husband was a kid, then it’s probably OK. And I always try to have an activity planned so we don’t get stuck watching TV. We take them outside, we read a lot, or we play in their playroom. Yes, they know how to work the remote control and they can open an app and play games. I just have to blame that on the independent play time. ;-)

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Pouches' Community Corner

Bragg Hill Family Life Center

 pouches cartoon

Since opening its doors to the community in 1997, the Bragg Hill Family Life Center has served low-income and underprivileged families and at-risk youth families in the greater Fredericksburg region.

Dr. Joseph D. Henderson, Sr. and Dr. Doris S. Henderson, former residents of Bragg Hill and founders of the Bragg Hill Family Life Center, envisioned a place where people in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city could find refuge.