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Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, What Do You Think?

Smart Phones: How Young is Too Young?

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I don’t exactly remember Sawyer’a first word (other than mama) but I can tell you his top ten included “van”, “car”, “bus”,  and “truck”. This was because I had an app on my phone that used to show pictures of different vehicles and when you pressed on them they would drive and the phone would say their name with music in the background. Sawyer loved this “game” and one day he just started saying the names right along with my phone. Next thing we knew he was talking.

There are all kinds of games and learning tools for smartphones these days, some of which I think are great.

But this got me thinking. Is this bad parenting? Even though Sawyer had three toy cell phones does this mean he should play with the real thing? Am I substituting a phone for one on one time?
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In my case, I don’t think so.

First off, I am still wary about the radiation coming off a smartphone and how safe it is for a baby. I refused to wear any cell phones for work or otherwise when I was pregnant since the safety studies just aren’t there.

Secondly, my phone costs about $600 and is my lifeline, so my heart goes in my throat whenever I let one of the kids plays with it. Hey, without my phone there would be no blog! LOL

Thirdly, (and related to number two) I play with it with the kids rather than as a substitute for myself. I would sit there with Sawyer and say the vehicle names right along with him. I smash the fireworks with June and make the fish fart with Sansa.

Yes, I have on occasion, needing a spare minute, let Sawyer play puzzles on my phone as a distraction, but hey, he’s having fun, learning, and I get my moment (usually we are out and I need to talk to the doctor or something).

How old do I think they have to be before they get their own phone? Yikes, glad I don’t have to worry about that one just yet (but if you have advice, feel free to comment).
I got my first cell phone when I was 18 and paid for it myself with the money I earned from my part time job. I thought it was a good investment since I was out working late after school and starting to drive and I wanted to be able to reach help if I needed it. I did use it to text friends now and again, but phones then weren’t what phones are now.

So what do you think? Kids and cell phones. What are the rules in your house?

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of three children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Smart Phones: How Young is Too Young?

  1. If my phone broke, there’s no way I could afford a replacement until my contract renews so… Yeah I’m pretty picky about the kids playing on it. We both have iPhones and my husband has an iPad. My daughter also has a leap pad and a variety of electronics. I think they are useful in combination with other parenting and teaching but obviously not alone.

    As for phones, we do not have a home phone. Not sure what we will do when the girls are old enough to be chatting with their friends all evening. Surely they won’t be fighting over my cell phone to do that but I’m not sure getting them cell phones that early is appropriate either. Like you, I got my first phone at 18, signed up on a plan with my brother on our own. We shared 600 minutes and 1000 texts a month and paid $39.99. Wow. Lol.

    Posted by Heather C | June 23, 2013, 1:30 pm
    • I must admit, I have an otterbox double case on my phone (it more than doubles its size and weight) for protection and I still get nervous when he plays on mine. I am hopefully getting a tablet for my birthday and that will be no kids allowed!

      Posted by Shannon | June 23, 2013, 8:16 pm
  2. I must admit that the kids do play games on my phone occasionally, and they learn really fast from the games (I QC all the apps) – especially foreign languages. I’m still considering if I should get an iPad because the screens are so small on the smartphone.

    Posted by mummyshymz | June 26, 2013, 3:16 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: It’s Called Terrible 2s and 3s Because F*ck#ng Awful Doesn’t Start With “T” | A Game of Diapers - November 19, 2013

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