Here’s What You Had to Say About…Toddlers and iPhones

iphoneLast week, the New York Times ran an article, “Toddlers’ Favorite Toy: The iPhone,” that caused quite a stir on the parenting front: Many parents saw the beneficial aspects of letting their little ones play with their phones (especially while traveling), but others were horrified by the notion of introducing kids to technology at such a young age.

We were dying to know – what do you think of all this? – and as usual, you hit the comments to express your thoughts.

Take a look at what some of your fellow parents had to say, and then take our poll to show us where you stand!

“I think it’s ok for a child to play with an iPhone or an iTouch on occasion. Limiting use just like we would limit access to television is up to the parents. A variety of stimuli are good for us and especially helpful on long trips!” – Liza

“I really don’t know what this world is coming to—all I know is my grandson would rather play with the box that a toy comes in instead of the toy. We as parents and grandparents need a [reality] check on what is important, and buying expensive gadgets for children is just setting them up to be young adults who [need] to have everything up to date.” – Jean Griffith

“My 4-year-old spends a lot of time waiting at her siblings’ ball practices. I am amazed at how she can entertain herself with nothing at all. The only time she ever asks to play with my phone is when she is tired out and doesn’t feel like entertaining herself.  I see nothing wrong with that. Our kids need to have balance and, yes, that does include the tech world these days.” – Shellie Marquize

“I have an autistic child whose uses a computer, cell phone, a remote control and other electronics very well. He knows all the programs, the menu, the buttons, and so on. Now he wants an iPad.  I think the iPad will be very useful and educational, especially for children with a learning disability. The screen is pretty big and the pictures are very easy to see. The content is vast covering colors, numbers, shapes, and animals–all familiar objects that they just love!” – Iraida

“Recently, while waiting for stitches in the [hospital] emergency room, we were relieved to have our iPhone. We were able to download some free and inexpensive games to take our 4-year-old’s attention off his terrible boo-boo and the extremely long wait. I can say it saved a lot of headache in an environment not meant for preschoolers.” – Lisl

“While an iPhone can be entertaining during long waits, it would be better for young children to take a more active role in entertaining themselves. Books, crayons, or small toys that encourage creativity and imagination would be a better choice. We’re giving our 13-year-old son a “plain cell phone” for Christmas…he’s one of the few kids in his grade who doesn’t own his own phone. We take two 18 hour car trips each year with our 4 kids, no DVD or handheld electronics.  Just books and music on CDs and whatever else the kids want to bring.  We have a great time! I think giving our children too much technology too early will backfire in terms of their creativity, physical activity, materialism, and attention span (rates of ADHD are much higher in young children exposed to 3 hours of screen time per day).” –Pam

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  1. by Heather

    On October 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I feel that our toddlers should be given creative, educational opportunities for passing the time/play. This could be either with tech toys, or old fashions ones. One must realize that technology is a way of the times and is in some ways much more efficient, and space friendly when on the go. We, as parents, just need to be selective of the age appropriate apps they are to use. They should be educational and allow for self expression such as reading, math, and science, etc. We must also reserve the time allowed for these uses and still encourage outdoor play and physical acitivity. As with most things, moderation is the key!

  2. by Chris

    On October 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I don’t have an iphone myself however, my brother-in law does. It really amazes me that my 4 year old niece knows exactly how to use it and will often ask for it. Don’t think it is necessary and I think my 2 year old can live without it, although it is nice to have when the cousins are getting rowdy. They can sit quietly and watch a short movie or play a game on the phone for a few minutes to calm down.

  3. by Amber

    On October 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    My 3 year old daughter loves to play games on the i-phone. DH put so many kid friendly games on it from tracing the alphabet (lower case is very helpful) to squashing little ants and flies before they get to the picnic lunch.

  4. by Mika

    On October 31, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I think it’s all about moderation. We have to recognize our kids are going to be exposed to more technology and it can be beneficial. At the same time, kids should still be given the opportunity to play with books, colors, and the classic cardboard box. I find that my kids are just as content to play with the cardboard box as the iphone, but the iphone is quite handy when we’re eating out!

  5. by Heather

    On March 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I will be honest my 30mo LOVES her Ipod.. yes I said hers! She has sign language flash cards, coloring games that talk to her about the colors and color by number. She is able to watch interactive toddler programming on the go. Her vocabulary has grown exponentially from her exposure to the Ipod. She is only given the Ipod after we have exhausted the coloring books, dolls, and books. I am blessed that we are able to provide this special “toy” for her..

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