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Is Nickelodeon Ruining Our Preschoolers' Social Skills?
By: Cindy Wendland
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Nickelodeon is rolling out a new service aimed at preschoolers. The $6-a-month service, called Noggin, will have new games and activities along with archives of shows no longer on any of Nickelodeon's TV channels. The service will be free of ads and initially available on Apple mobile devices with the Android version coming soon.

We have mixed feelings on this. In this era of “faces down to the screen,” are we advocating that preschoolers watch more on the screen? We understand kids need things to do and enjoy watching games and shows. We understand Nickelodeon can keep kids entertained and this makes shopping and dinner easier, but is it the right direction for our preschoolers?

We were at a store the other day and my newly turned teenage daughter was talking on the phone to her aunt. The store clerk commented how refreshing it was to see a young person actually talking on the phone versus texting or playing something on their phone. Turns out her aunt is quite adamant about actually talking to people, and if you text her on her birthday instead of calling, she will consider it as if you didn’t reach out at all.

Are we getting to be the old out-of-date generation? We’re not that old, but we think we’re losing something important here from the younger generation. Many of them are losing their ability to converse. In business, deals will not be made solely electronically in the future. Relationships will still be important, and those relationships cannot be built solely through texting or email.

Are we making too much of this simple Nickelodeon show? Perhaps, but where does it stop? Send your kids outside to play. Play a board game or card game or read a book. The responsibility resides with the parents, so keep the balance and build their social skills.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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