The bottles are gone, he has never been into pacifiers, he kind of has an affection to a specific blanket, but his most prized possession is the I-Phone. It doesn’t have to be mine. It could be yours for all he cares. He just has to have it.
In fact, we were strolling through the mall a couple of weeks ago when a man next to us looked at me quite startled. I was confused until I looked down to see my 15-month-old had jerked the man’s I-Phone right out of his hand. This can’t be good, right?!
Well, I took this question to both my family pediatrician and my sister (who just happens to have her PhD in Child Psychology). While they both gave me the “it’s all in moderation” and “it shouldn’t take away from quality time you spend with him” answers, the truth is no one really knows.
I-Phones hit the scene in 2007 and became mainstream closer to 2009. I’m sure “they” (whoever does these types of studies) are close to having this information for inquiring moms like myself. I mean, “they” are quick to tell me that my child should be stacking 3 blocks right now, so I’m quite sure they’ll be coming out with something about this soon.
What truly worries me is if the access to the digital screen sets his expectations too high. For example, he has this 3-in-1 sports toy. It’s like a basketball, football, baseball all-in-one thing. In the middle there is a screen that keeps a score. The thing is, he assumes that it is a touch screen. He’ll keep pressing it and gets frustrated that it’s not doing whatever it is he thinks it should do. I don’t want him to not be able to enjoy the simple things (as shown in above photo). On the other hand, I suppose that it could give him preparation for whatever amazing technological devices he’ll be handling throughout his life.
In the meantime I’ll continue hiding from my son when I need to make a phone call—kidding, kind of. The most annoying part of it is that when he’s doing something super cute that I want to get on video, he’ll stop the super cute thing and reach for my I-Phone as soon as I start filming.
So, you may disagree, but I’m not able to keep the I-Phone away completely. He doesn’t play on it all day by any means. Maybe like 10 minutes, 3 times a day. He basically just scrolls through the photos and video clips. We spend plenty of quality time and he loves regular, good old-fashioned story books in addition to e-books (yes we have an I-pad too).