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