Steve Jobs Was Planning This All Along

September 8, 2010

Jasper loves the iPhone. Jasper loves the iPhone a lot.

Jasper loves the iPhone with a passion that exceeds my own, which is saying something, because it is only a slight exaggeration to say that I would save my iPhone before my husband if we were in a sinking raft (this was a favorite heuristic device of an old philosophy prof of mine, one that he believed demonstrated something important about the complicated nature of predicting altruistic behavior. I was never able to answer the question – would you save a loved one, a family member, or your pet? would you save a loved one or Brad Pitt? - without deliberating at length. Which loved one? How far is it to shore? Can my loved one swim? Would Brad Pitt thank me? How would he thank me? I would ask. I got an A in that class.)

Jasper would save the iPhone, no question. The rest of us would drown, and Jasper would go on his merry way, playing Elmo’s Monster Maker uninterrupted.

It bothers Kyle that Jasper loves the phone. “PONE!” Jasper will holler, causing Kyle to wince. “WANT PONE!” Sometimes, if he’s not feeling too frantic about it, he’ll add, “PEEZ! PITTY PEEZ? PONE? PONE!” If he sees one laying around, he’ll just grab it and swipe through to his favorite apps. He can find Pocoyo on YouTube in about 20 seconds.

“This doesn’t bother you?” Kyle will ask.

“At least he’s not standing in front of the television, screaming for Barney.” In my opinion, any activity, short of toddler pole classes, is better than watching Barney.

What worries Kyle, though, isn’t so much Jasper’s mastery of the iPhone – at this rate, he’ll be designing next-gen iPads before he’s five, which, although creepy, maybe, is not the worst thing – as it is his enthusiasm for it. Jasper hollers for PONE! in the morning and he hollers for PONE! at night and although he can be talked out of wanting or having PONE! – sometimes with some difficulty, and most times only with the offer of his skateboard – which, in this case, means that he ends up sleeping with said board, which is only marginally more cuddly than the PONE! – it remains that the PONE! is one of his very very favorite things ever and that’s a little weird. He is, after all, two.

july long weekend 2010 452

But he doesn’t really watch TV, like, ever, and he has developed an uncanny knack for solving slider puzzles and he plays counting games and word identification games and he prefers animated shorts from the National Film Board of Canada’s archives to Barney. The significance of which, really, can’t be overstated. NO BARNEY.

So, Internets: at what point does one try to take a step back from the dimpled, half-naked toddler who is clutching an iPhone to his chest like a teddy bear and admit to oneself that the child maybe has an addiction, and that one giggling at oh my hell how adorable is it that he can navigate the National Film Board application all the way to The Hockey Sweater (“they were five Maurice Richards against five other Maurice Richards!”) is just enabling him and maybe, maybe, one should be trying to wean him back on to TV? Which is to ask: should we be worried? Should we sue Apple for the corruption of minors? Or should we just get an iTouch and let him stash it in his diaper, and then send him to Cupertino as a junior intern when he’s five?

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    { 70 comments }

    Grazi September 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Well as you have stated several times on your post, it’s better than many other things that he could be doing.
    Think about it, at least it’s a device that allows him to be mobile, and not a video game that requires sitting in from of the tv all day. And if it was a cuddly teddy bear, would you have a problem with it? Unlikely. But what does that teddy bear have that’ better than the phone? does it stimulate your child in any way?
    Besides, he may call it “pone” but he doesn’t realize it’s a phone like we do. As you said, give him an itouch and he’ll be happy forever. We freak out with things like this because it’s so different from how we grew up, but ask someone from our parent’s generation and they’ll probably have many things we did that they found odd too.
    He is, after all, a child of the technology age.

    Mom101 September 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    If it’s not a PONE it’s an Elmo doll. Or a binky. Or a bottle. Or a video series that makes you want to kill yourself.

    Kids get attached to things. At least this one seems like it’s putting him on the road to a promising future. I say, let him have the PONE, but make him sign a contract now that he’ll buy you all a villa outside Barcelona when he makes his first billion.
    .-= Mom101´s last blog ..Maybe its not about the dress =-.

    Catherine September 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    @Mom101, are contracts written in crayon binding?
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Summer Is A State Of Mind =-.

    Erica September 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    The PONE! is increasing his hand/eye coordination and teaching him lots of other stuff like letter and numbers. Get him his own!

    Plus, no Barney. Which if I have any goal in life, it’s to keep that purple beast out of my house. You may have just convinced me to get an iPhone.

    sashalyn September 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    My daughter, Sophia, is just about the same way with the iPhone or iPad. Admittedly, she has a disability that causes hypotonia, so when she was small (I’m talking 6 months old) it was the only toy she could activate (touch screens are easy). We finally gave her a first generation iPhone of her own… But she still prefers daddy’s iPad. It’s the best ever when we’re out in public waiting for something & she’s getting antsy or just to distract her from upset. I’m with you. Give him an iPhone & get ready to send him to Apple developer camp instead of space camp. I think he’ll be fine.

    Roberta September 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I can’t wait to see the advice because I need it too. Your post almost EXACTLY describes the iCraziness in our house. My almost-2 daughter hsa been able to specifically identify the iPhone (as opposed to any other cell or smartphone) for several months, can expertly surf it, doesn’t want any help, wants to do it “SELF!”, and has recently gone from calling it “Mama’s iPhone” to “my iPhone.”
    .-= Roberta´s last blog ..The still of my life =-.

    Her Bad Mother September 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Jasper has long known the difference between the iPhone and other, lesser phones. He’d smash a Blackberry, I’m sure, just to make a point about touch screens.

    Pamela September 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    We don’t have an iPhone so our kid… is addicted to Thomas the Tank Engine. The first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is do the sign for train (since he doesn’t really talk yet), which worries me a little. But, then, now that I’ve read your post I guess it sounds like it’s developmentally appropriate ;-)
    .-= Pamela´s last blog ..Out Front =-.

    Julie @ The Mom Slant September 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Oliver loves my Nintendo DSi. It’s a brave new world.
    .-= Julie @ The Mom Slant´s last blog ..I do not have to believe in god to love my country =-.

    Marsha September 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I feel like many of us will relate to this. My almost 4 yr old loves my iPhone also. But she also loves building castles from her gazillion blocks to house her gazillion farm animals and alligators. She just spent an hour trying on a bunch of hand-me down clothes gleefully. And in 30mins she’ll ask to play her Curious George pbskids.org game on my computer and if I’m using it, she’ll settle for the phone. It’s not the only thing she wants to play with, so I’m cool with it.

    Mary September 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Love the picture! I refused to get an iPhone, but a friend of mine has one and Luigi, who is also 2, absolutely loves it. She doesn’t mind him playing with it, so he just sits there enthralled, sliding things back and forth. Anything is better than Barney though. Thank goodness I’m in Italy and there is no Barney here.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Unidentified Object =-.

    Tina September 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Just to add a voice of dissent…I have an almost 12 year old son. He is addicted to video games. It starts early. And one addiction gets traded for another. We used to think it was really cool that he understood technology. He could program the remote early on. The iPhone wasn’t around, but he showed a remarkable aptitude for electronics. They soothed him. He loved holding them. The Nintendo DS was a panacea for him.

    Now, he needs video games the way a junkie needs a fix. Without them, he becomes a grumpy, belligerent person. And there are times he has almost gotten violent if I have imposed limits on his game time. So, just be careful, be sure it is on YOUR terms and that he can take the gadget…or leave it. Never let it substitute for one-on-one interaction. I would set more limits in the beginning if I had a do over.
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..Help my life has been stolen and replaced with an Edith Wharton novel =-.

    Her Bad Mother September 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    This is my husband’s worry, exactly. I see it more as any other kind of attachment, and one that is superior to attachment to TV, but my husband fears that the iPhone is a gateway drug. *wry-smile*

    Grazi September 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    @Her Bad Mother, I believe that can apply to anything the child gets attached to, which is many different things a month at the age of two. I don’t see that technology was to blame there, it just happened to be the “drug of choice”.
    I think the phone should be treated as any other toy and be given the same house rules they have.
    It’s definitely a good idea to forbid it at school for example as other commenters mentined. You wouldn’t let him take his skateboard to school would you?

    Catherine September 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    @Grazi, there’s no way I’d let him take it to school. Not least because it’s MINE, and I am addicted to it, too.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Steve Jobs Was Planning This All Along =-.

    Catherine September 9, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    @Catherine, (not to mention the rule there about no toys from home, but whatever.)
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Steve Jobs Was Planning This All Along =-.

    red pen mama September 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I’m going to come at this a little bit differently from other commenters, probably because I do not yet have a smart phone or iPad. I’m basing my question on what I see at my daughers’ day care with the DS.

    Does he otherwise engage and play with others? Or is it PONE all the time?

    Granted, keeping the scourge of the purple dinosaur out of your home is worthwhile. But when I get to my girls’ day care and see three little kids with their heads over their DS units instead of playing with the other kids, it makes me not want to even get a DS let alone a smart phone.

    That probably doesn’t help, does it?
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..School Days =-.

    Her Bad Mother September 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    He does engage and play with others. He’s in daycare part-time, and thrives there, and he and Emilia play happily together at home, and he LOVES his skateboard and blocks and trains. But he DOES love that PONE. So, yeah. We’re keeping an eye on it, my husband a bit more warily than I, but still.

    red pen mama September 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    @Her Bad Mother, I would think, then, as another commenter mentioned, maybe just limit his time with it. Make his use of it on your terms.

    My 5yo desperately wants a DS for her next bday. When I mentioned that maybe she’ll get one but that she would not be able to take it to school/daycare, she was stunned. So, yeah, I guess I’m wary, too.
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..School Days =-.

    Catherine September 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    @red pen mama, what age do you figure are DS’s manageable?
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Steve Jobs Was Planning This All Along =-.

    Jade September 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    @Catherine,

    I bought a DS two years ago, for myself and to entertain the kids when needed, my son had just turned three and could figure out and manage his and other games no problem.

    cindy w September 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    My 3 year-old loves my iPhone. Or she did. Until my husband got an iPad. Now there’s a nightly battle between the two of them over whose turn it is to use the damn iPad. (I think he might be the brattier of the two of them about the whole thing, honestly.)

    Seriously, she knows how to find the Netflix app on the iPad, open it, navigate to her movies, and start them. AND SHE’S THREE. I’m a little scared.

    Her Bad Mother September 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    That’s how Jasper is with the National Film Board app (which I recommend highly, by the way) – he can find the kids’ channel in seconds.

    This is also why we’re reluctant to get an iPad. The kid-appropriation risk factor seems high.

    Molly September 9, 2010 at 9:51 am

    @Her Bad Mother, I’m always amazed by the kid-appropriation factor. I babysit a 2 yo and she can take her parents laptop, open it to videos they’ve shot of her, and play and replay them. The little kids I work with who have Autism LOVE my phone. They know how to open it and go to the animal noises app, can pick out their favorites. I find them making those noises later in the day (spot on impression by one kid. Seriously. He sounds exactly like a humpback whale) and they actually do interact while using it (ie Molly, I want to hear blank noise, or another child will request a noise)

    OUr kids are allowed dses/ipods for the bus but not allowed to use them at camp. On occasion we’ll allow them to play with it during their free time. They all crowd around the three kids with DSes and ask questions and comment. And when one child gets bereft that he doesn’t have a DS I generally hand over my iPhone. I’m such a sucker. They also LOVE to take pictures/videos of themselves. It’s adorable.

    Catherine September 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    @Molly, I’ve also a got Audobon Society bird app on my phone that he loves. He can mimic a chickadee with uncanny precision ;)
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Steve Jobs Was Planning This All Along =-.

    shasta September 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Hmmm. Mittens has had her own iPhone since birth thanks to a phone upgrade that left us with a phone-service disabled, but still fully functional, device.

    Currently we just use it for music at bedtime. Wonder when she’s going to realize it does other things.

    And love the picture. =)
    .-= shasta´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday- Fight On! =-.

    Issa September 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I’m laughing. My son? Is literally sitting next to me right now, alternating between Elmo’s Monster Maker and Ballonimals. I’m on the, I don’t see how it’s a big deal side. He’s an Apple kid. All of mine are. Both my girls have iTouch’s. Shrug.

    It’s great for passing time. it’s great when they are sick. Most of the apps teach things. In this world, where technology changes so frequently? It’s almost better for them to learn so young.

    That’s my story at least and I’m sticking too it.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..The it’s Tuesday- not Monday- random =-.

    Issa September 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    @Issa, I guess I should add….since I’ve now read all the comments. My son is almost two. He’s in daycare, he has a love of trucks and cars that rivals a grown man. He plays with his train, rides his trike and chases the dog. He’s extraordinarily verbal and social.

    He’s just also addicted to my phone.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..The it’s Tuesday- not Monday- random =-.

    Catherine September 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    @Issa, Balloonimals? A good app?
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Steve Jobs Was Planning This All Along =-.

    Issa September 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    @Catherine, For toddlers yes. Very much so. That and Elmo are my sons two favorites. He has others but for some reason he loves the balloon animal one. You blow in the phone to blow up the animals. Then you can move them and then you can pop them. Which is Harrison’s favorite part.

    That and he loves old Grover videos on YouTube.

    Lisa September 8, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    My 2-year-old loves her Dora, but hasn’t figured out the technology. When I do let her use my ipod touch to watch it – typically if we’re out on an errand that is running longer than her patience – she’ll hit the d*&^ button that turns it off and gets all upset.

    Anywhooo, tv (or dvds/downloads of Dora, in our case) is a reward in our house. She doesn’t get to watch it whenever she wants; it’s a treat. Now, sometimes, I’m looking around for some chore she can do in order to get her Dora, because I need the break, but she doesn’t know that.

    I’d be leery of an every day thing and an on demand thing. My kid can’t figure out gadgets, but she helps clean, does laundry, picks up her toys, “sweeps” and scrubs. All pretty basic stuff that can earn her some Dora.

    Lisa September 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I’d also get your kid an ipod touch before risking him breaking your phone (and aren’t the phones much more expensive?) My kid already dunked my ipod and it somehow survived, but I watch her like a hawk now.

    Lisa September 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    But a list of good toddler-friendly apps would also be great. :-)

    sassymonkey September 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I say anything that involved The Hockey Sweater can’t be bad. I guess The Big Snit doesn’t hold quite the same appeal to a toddler as it does for me.
    .-= sassymonkey´s last blog ..Two Lost Some Damaged =-.

    Catherine September 9, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    @sassymonkey, oh, no, he’s gotten on to that one, too. And ‘The House That Jack Built’ and ‘This Mouse’ and all number of circa 60′s and 70′s vintage shorts. It’s kind of cool.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Steve Jobs Was Planning This All Along =-.

    Jenn September 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    My kid is a technology junkie too, he just turned 4. He has an AWESOME grasp on phonics, and hasn’t done a day of school yet. He can identify about 40 different dinosaurs, and what they eat. I guess what I’m saying is he’s learning a ton of stuff from all his little techno gadgets, so I’m not to worried about it. It’s the world they’ll live in.
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Next Summers Adventures =-.

    susanna eve September 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I wanted to add a comment as a mom of older kids. I have 4 boys ages 18 to 24. We didn’t have electronics or the even the computer when they were 2 but they sure did game quite a lot in their middle years. I limited tv watching but never computer time. They all grew up and got busy with life, girls, jobs and other passions. Some of them still game sometimes but can always leave it in favour of other things. My 23 yo loves his blackberry and was one of those who stood in line at 5 am to get one of the first i phones. I was very resistant to any kind of hand held gaming devices but eventually the kids bought them for themselves with their own money and they did not become totally addicted them as I had feared they would. My daughter who is 13 has a DSi and an older i phone that she uses as an ipod touch as do I.
    Personally, as long as he is playing with other things too, getting lots of exercise and meeting developmental milestones, I would let him have the i phone maybe not all the time but lots. I totally agree that playing on the i phone is a lot better than watching barney!!!!!

    Laura September 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    My daughter will be 2 at the end of the month and I’m pretty sure she’d save the iPad (“pad”) before anything else. When it’s being charged or she doesn’t know where it is she says “pad where are you? paaad?” She has tons of educational games, navigates YouTube better than I ever could, and plays plants vs zombies, bubble bobble, etc. Blows my mind..
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Stuff we do =-.

    MommieV September 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    My daughter (~ 18 months) didn’t get alot of TV at home until recently. Now, she is addicted to Baby Einstein videos (and I hear the effing music in my head in my sleep.)

    Her sleep has been disrupted recently, and I read that too much tv can affect sleep, so I want to limit it. But she has this screeching thing … that makes me want to do bad things when she does it in my ear …

    So I’ve been letting her have the tv, and have been trying to justify it in my head. It’s Baby Einstein, it’s not like it’s … war news or something.

    So I’m a little on the worried side, thinking it’s a developmental stage, etc, too. She’s in daycare, and socializes fine, but as soon as she sees a blank tv screen, she reaches and screeches and you give in and put the damn thing on for her.

    Her Bad Mother September 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    “So I’ve been letting her have the tv, and have been trying to justify it in my head. It’s Baby Einstein, it’s not like it’s … war news or something.” This made me laugh out loud. Because, no, of course not. BUT IT’S CLOSE.

    Jenifer September 8, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Ok I am laughing here sitting at my mac book, are you ready for it? My Amelia (20 months) is in love with Barney on our ipad and iphone, yes – Barney! Only Barney. We have played every kids show for her on Treehouse, Disney, Nick and all other channels combined and the only thing that sits her down in her plush chair is Barney.

    We loaded the ipad for our recent plane travels as an emergency back-up to toys and snacks…it was well used on all flights and restaurants throughout our trip. Everyone stopped us to ask us about the ipad, “where do you put the DVD?” was a frequent question.

    I am a bit worried about her affection for the iphone/ipad which in her mind equals Barney. She can’t say PONE yet, but surely that is right around the corner.
    .-= Jenifer´s last blog ..Summer lovin and the forgettin is easy =-.

    Jen September 9, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Kale (2)loves loves loves loves loves my iPhone. I pull it out and he says “watch cow?” because of a toddler distractor thing I bought when I got it that has like, four stupid animals that make appropriate noises when you touch them.

    He eerily knows how to use the touch screen – and when he picks up Daddy’s blackberry I laugh out loud when he drives to operate the screen like the iPhone.

    Toddler love is so all encompassing and so intense. I’m hoping if I am relatively nonchalant about his iPhone time, it will become less of a big deal. He does get to watch some CBC Kids in the AM while I am generally trying to open-mouth-insert-tea, and lately his obsession with whatever is on right now is a little overwhelming. I’ve discovered he needs to be in another room to forget about the Telebizen, so lately we’ve been spending more time in other rooms of the house. But yeah. the iPhone has saved my life a few times, and I’m looking for a used iTouch for him for our 5 hour flight to Maui next February.

    Wondering... September 9, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Somebody said “Does he otherwise engage and play with others? Or is it PONE all the time?”

    You later commented that he engages with others, loves playing with Emilia, etc, but I wonder, at such a young age, when computers/technology are FAR more predictable than people (and indeed, they always will be), will a child possibly develop an attachment to this predictability and thus shy away from the non-predictability of the “real world”- perhaps going as far as becoming autistic. I’ve seen some pretty concrete examples where kids SEEM (of course, this has yet to be “proved”, although the computers-predictable thing IS why children with autism respond better to computers than people) like they developed autistic-like tendencies from an overuse of something- whether it be Baby Einstein, a singing piano, or an iPhone.

    Shannon September 9, 2010 at 2:43 am

    OK, I am admittedly coming at this with a huge disadvantage in that I don’t have kids. So feel free to discount whatever I say, secure in the knowledge that I have *no idea* what it’s like to actually raise kids (yet).

    That said, I work with kids all day as a speech-language pathologist and have seen many different approaches with many different families. Plus, I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot for our as-yet-unconceived (made-up word alert!) children.

    We got our first Apple when I was 5, as my dad was way ahead of the the tech game (I actually got to see the “Internet” when it was a bunch of lame profs like my dad writing to each other, which is what I thought way back in elementary school). I am now realizing how utterly addicted to screens I am. If it’s not my computer, then it’s my iPhone, iPad or TV with Netflix. It’s bad.

    I’ve also been reading more and more research about what looking at screens actually does to our brain (not just babies, but everyone), and it’s starting to scare me a little. Not enough to quit cold turkey, but definitely enough to make me put down the iPad and pick up a real book (sorry, Steve). So from this perspective, I am slightly concerned about our still-hypothetical children because they will *definitely* pick up our excessive tech habits.

    On the other hand, I was thinking as I watched a 2.5 year old with zero words move a mouse expertly, maybe these are the skills that today’s kids will need to survive in the world. Just like now fine motor examinations might include how well a child can do up a zipper (technology!), maybe those evals in the future will include use of a mouse, keyboard and/or touchscreen.

    Like I said, I’ve thought about this WAY too much, especially for someone without kids!

    Emma September 9, 2010 at 4:49 am

    My kids went through stages of demanding TV all the time (in the pre-iPhone era), which drove me batty… but I stuck to the rule of TV-is-only-on-when-I-am-making-dinner, and they got it eventually. Same with my iPhone now… they don’t get to play with it whenever they want but I let them every now and again and I don’t see the harm (plus, since I love my iPhone it seems a bit unfair to say they can’t love it too). When they’re older and wanting a DS (or whatever it will be) I plan to let them play, but only for a certain amount of time each day. Everything in moderation, right?
    .-= Emma´s last blog ..So glamourous =-.

    Amy September 9, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Nate seems mildly interested in my PONE! but I’m still more attached to it than I will ever let him become. We’d have to wrestle over it. I’m planning to keep it away from him.

    But, I don’t think it’s doing Jasper any harm, necessarily…maybe getting him his own iTouch would be good. He could play Elmo Monster Maker to his heart’s content and you could still play with your iPhone. It could be something you do together. Like all things, it’s a phase. It’s not like he’ll be taking it with him to school (or will he?).

    Katy September 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I have a disabled child who can’t run and play like other children. As a result, we have a lot of electronics in the house and this includes a very fancy iPad, which my son loves. We think that anything is fine in moderation. So we rotate through several different activities, all of which would be considered the Devil’s Plaything by a parent who had more options that we do. There’s listening to music time (he prefers pop music), watching TV (Signing Time DVDs), and there’s time with the iPad as well. We also go grocery shopping, do learning activities, and now he even attends some preschool. Kids are going to love gadgets, I just think that it’s important to provide them with a variety of activities. Besides that, I let myself off the hook on the guilt stuff. Life is too short.
    .-= Katy´s last blog ..Conversations With My Little Brother =-.

    Laural Dawn September 9, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I don’t see it as bad.
    My son is 6 now and loves our computer – and can navigate through it way better than I can. (and part of my job is that I’m a webmaster – so seriously.wow.)
    The best news I ever heard was when his grade one teacher told me this week that they start an internet class in grade one (the fact that she teaches it and we had a discussion about it is amazing to me – she gets me and my kid).
    Matt’s had a nintendo ds since he was 4 and it’s fantastic for him.
    Truthfully, I don’t want to get him an iphone because I don’t think he needs the phone/email features. But a touch – for sure.
    Also, my son way prefers the computer over tv. Now that he’s reading and typing, we are getting a little nervous and have added all the parental controls, but whatever. Supervised I think it’s great.
    .-= Laural Dawn´s last blog ..My summer vacation =-.

    Aurelia September 9, 2010 at 10:37 am

    The research I’ve read and it reflects my experience, is that kids who get truly addicted to tech are self-medicating their undiagnosed/untreated mental issues.

    Those issues would have existed in a previous era as sports addiction, high-risk activity addictions, smoking at 12, like my husband, drinking or drugs early, or whatever else, pick your poison.

    The solution for “addicted kids” isn’t limiting it when they are little so they don’t do it when they are older, because they’ll just do something else. The solution is finding the root cause and diagnosing and treating. For regular kids, limits, rules, fine, whatever. But you can’t know what kind of kid you have until you get an outside 3rd-party to help when they are older.

    If he’s willing to do other things, then he isn’t addicted at this point, though he does love it. Question is, what’s next? Well, treat it like it’s a normal activity, and when he’s 5, if you think it’s a real concern, get an assessment.

    Til then, breathe.
    .-= Aurelia´s last blog ..Facelifts =-.

    kelly @kellynaturally September 9, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Its scary how crazy-good my kids are with our iPhones, and how quickly an iPhone can solve all problems kid-related – tantrums, boredom, you name it.

    We also do not do television, so I wonder if my children latch on to the media on the iPhone so quickly & fiercely because they don’t get it elsewhere?

    I don’t think its a problem. Does he have a computer? When its just me at home (read: two kids, one iPhone), one of said children will hop on their computer while I’m on mine. The hand-eye coordination at minimum is good for them (obviously, its not ball catching/throwing – but how efficiently can you do that while you’re on the computer too?).
    I keep several kid-friendly pages bookmarked, and youtube is off-limits – both on iPhone (i hide it on page 6) and on their computer.

    Truthfully, I do offer alternative options first, before the iPhone – because I don’t want the iPhone to lose its magical powers of calming. But is it right to put myself to work on the computer, and deny them a computer? I just try to balance it with a healthy dose of crazy dancing or other physical activity, and hands-on stuff (like leg building).

    Bottom line: Its not a problem unless you really think it is. Computers are awesome, and they are the future. As are our kids.
    .-= kelly @kellynaturally´s last blog ..Why High Need Instead of Fussy =-.

    kelly @kellynaturally September 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

    @kelly @kellynaturally, Um yeah, if you’re wondering what leg building is… you can either picture something creepy in your mind, or add an O on to the end to get my original intention. Where is autocorrect when you need it?
    .-= kelly @kellynaturally´s last blog ..Why High Need Instead of Fussy =-.

    Missives From Suburbia September 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    My 21-month-old can navigate our iPad with ease, my husband was Apple employee number XXX, and our entire house is nothing but Apple networking and computers. I’m not sure I’m the person you should be asking.

    (Go, Jasper!!)
    .-= Missives From Suburbia´s last blog ..Hes Not Paying Me- I Swear =-.

    zchamu September 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    My child does not speak a ton of distinguishable words yet. Everything is a derivative of “ba” still. But her most distinguishable word is only spoken when I am at the laptop or have the iPhone in my hand. That word is “momo”. As in, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LEYwoooVfw&feature=related , momo has four ducks…
    .-= zchamu´s last blog ..Sick =-.

    kayak woman September 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I’m another older mom with 20-something kids and I am fascinated by this topic (and, very coincidentally, just blathered about it on my own happily obscure little blahg). We always had a computer in our house when my girls were very young. There were a few simple computer games they could play, the internet was not useful (love how Shannon described it). Nothing approaching the variety of stuff available for iPhone/iPad. Not to mention that, until my older daughter went off to college, our family of four usually shared one computer. That was only eight years ago and it boggles my mind to think how much computing devices have changed since then.

    My girls have grown up to be very tech savvy but are far from being addicted. I don’t know how I would handle this issue if I had young children now. I am sure I would let them use my iPhone/iPad but not sure if/when/how/where I would draw the line. Anyway, this is a great post with lots of wonderful comments. Good luck!
    .-= kayak woman´s last blog ..I do not like that Sam-I-Am =-.

    Lauren September 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    This is a fascinating post.

    I recently convinced my husband to cut the cable at our house over concerns about our lifestyle and how it will influence our 13-month-old daughter. Up to now we have spent plenty of evenings in separate rooms watching our “shows” and rotting our brains. There are times when watching a show on the pvr (we have two of them) is on our to-do list right beside cleaning the bathroom. Sad.

    I want my daughter to grow up in a house where she sees her parents read books, not just to her, but for their own enjoyment. I want to listen to more music, have a cleaner house, enjoy some of my hobbies that make me feel like myself!

    However, a small part of me wonders if she will be “behind” if she doesn’t know who Dora is. She is not in daycare, and will likely not start pre-school for a few more years. We can control her environment at the moment, but will she be a freaky loser when she starts school?!?!

    Mayeb I should introduce her to my iPhone?

    Sean September 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Nothing the matter with getting him into the National Film Board archives now at all. I’d be steering him more toward Log Driver’s Waltz myself, but…
    .-= Sean´s last blog ..My P90X Journey – Day 57- The Home Stretch Begins =-.

    Andrea September 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    We are a total technological home. My daughter can use (and does) our various laptops, computers, phones, DVD players and so forth. We don’t have [allow] Barney, but I set up a special folder on my Backflip so she could go in, scroll over and sort through the games. And damned if she doesn’t do it as often as she can get her hands on the thing. ;) It’s totally normal. It’s the new generation!
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..A Touch Of Homesickness =-.

    Tina September 9, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    My son, who is almost 2, also loves the iPhone. I don’t have one, but my mother does. Whenever she is around he yells, “GAME”! When he is allowed to use the iPhone, he too can manipulate it independently. It’s pretty amazing to see and a testament to Apple’s design. I have to admit that I’m glad to have a Blackberry since my son has absolutely no interest in it. It doesn’t have a touch screen, after all!

    Rhiannon September 10, 2010 at 1:53 am

    I got myself an iPod touch for my bday just to save my sanity when I have my 2 year old grocery shopping or at a restaurant. He can use the thing himself and it keeps him from acting like a maniac for a little while. Who knows what will be around 10 years from now for them to get hooked on.

    Edie Mindell September 10, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Anything except for that purple-colored Barney is just fine with me. I’ve had enough of Barney!!!! Luckily my child has shifted his attention into Thomas and Friends toys now. That gave me peace of mind now that his tantrums about Barney disappeared.:-)

    pgoodness September 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

    My kids both have ipod touch(es) and they have been awesome. We have movies, tv shows, music and a ton of apps that they play. My dad was quizzing my 5yo on math the other day and was SHOCKED at how much he knew – my son’s response? I learned it on my ipod. hehe.

    The iPad is awesome, but my youngest wants to steal it ALL THE TIME. We play plants vs. zombies (strategic thinking) and angry birds together all the time.
    :)
    .-= pgoodness´s last blog ..FIRST DAY! =-.

    Redneck Mommy September 10, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Granted my children are older, but hands down, they’d toss me out of the boat to save the iPad or their iTouch.

    In fact, the best purchase I may have ever bought for them was the iTouch because now they are off the computer ladened with annoying Facebook games, they stay off the Wii, and they hardly ever watch television. Instead, they read books on their touches, surf encyclopedia apps and play brain puzzlers instead.

    And it keeps them quiet and out of my hair.

    Buy that boy an iTouch and he will forever find you his favorite parent. Loyalty, it’s the gift that keeps giving.

    Her Bad Mother September 11, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Okay – but one iTouch or two? Aren’t there epic battles?

    Jennifer September 10, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I don’t have an iphone. I have a g1 android phone. All my kids really know how to do with it is take pictures, but they’d fight to the death over it. ;)

    My older son, who has autism, has an ipad. He watches videos on youtube and uses proloquo2go on it. He simply adores it. It impressed me how well he navigated it from day one.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Finding Hope Where You Can =-.

    Meagan Francis September 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Heh. We started letting Clara (18 months) use the iPad to watch videos on and now she chants “i-PAD i-PAD” constantly. Thing is we don’t really want her to touch the screen because she stops the video and then starts screaming “DORA! DORA!”

    I know she’s too young for TV and she’s probably too young for technology but it’s so cute I hate not to give in (this may be why the girl’s only 18 months old and already the princess of the house).

    Her Bad Mother September 11, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Jasper has figured out how to restart a video if he touches the screen accidentally, which he almost never does anymore. But for a while he had that kind of freak out ;)

    Amanda September 10, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    We have no iPhones, but one iPad. After our 4-year-old got cranky from sitting too long playing it, we gave him a 1/2-hour-per-day limit. He usually grabs his half hour first thing after breakfast. Half an hour is 3 rounds of Plants vs. Zombies, which is almost all he wants to do with it (at first he was drawing adorable pictures and playing a spelling game, but now it’s all zombies. He’s invented his own zombies and plants for his superior, imaginary version of the game, and when talking himself to sleep he will muse on the abilities and weaknesses of the zombies and plants in the game.)

    Elly September 11, 2010 at 2:22 am

    No worries here, my 2 year old does the same thing. See if your munchkin has a penchant for puzzles. My little guy has been putting puzzles together for about 2 months now…the largest one he assembled alone was 60 pieces. That made my jaw drop more than watching him do Thomas the train slider puzzles on the Iphone.

    Cheers!

    Her Bad Mother September 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Jasper does Thomas, but he also plays a slider game that’s not designed for toddlers – it’s levels of traditional block sliders – and a packing game that’s a sort of puzzle and it blows my mind that he can do ANY level of those.

    caramama September 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Are you sure you weren’t writing about my husband and his crackberry?

    It sounds to me like he’s engaging and social and physical and the PONE! is just a current favorite toy. I agree with being watchful and a bit wary, which it sounds like you are. I think we can all get sucked in to technology in some form or another. Write up the contract @Mom-101 talked about, and I think you’ll be just fine.
    .-= caramama´s last blog ..Summer Viruses =-.

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