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Are Preschoolers Too High-Tech?

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: "At what age should children get their first cellphone?" I read out loud at the breakfast table this morning.

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How about never?" I mumbled to myself, or so I thought, through a mouthful of oatmeal. My mother, who flew 3,000 miles to see my oldest graduate from pre-school (any excuse), and my husband, tripped over each other responding to me.

"Sometimes it's important for a child to have a phone for safety reasons," my mother said.

"Yeah, like if your kid is going to a school that's an hour away," my husband added. His tone was particularly pointed since our son will be starting kindergarten in the fall about an hour away.

I continued reading silently. Until I burst out laughing.

"My 4-year-old has been on the Web since he could sit up," I read to my family. It's the next line that makes me guffaw.

"My 6-year-old has an iPod and wants a cellphone, although my husband and I aren't sure who he'd call."

Gee, I don't know. Maybe his dealer?

Who are these people who think giving an iPod to a 6-year-old is a sound idea? The last thing I want to do is encourage my child to stick something in his ears to block out the world. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think a child should be able to tune out the sounds of real life by plugging pods into his ears with music to score his life.

The thought is so insane to me I almost can't read the rest of the article. But I do, and it does make some valid points about the timing of introducing technology into our children's lives.

I want him skipping stones, counting stars and...I'll finish the thought in a minute, another mom just texted me about a playdate and I have to get back to her.

Dani Klein Modisett is the mom of two boys, and the creator/producer of Afterbirth...Stories You Won't Read in Parents Magazine.


2 comments so far | Post a comment now
momof9 June 15, 2008, 7:11 PM

A judge actually ordered my cousin who has custody of his daughter to get a cell phone for his 2 year old daughter so that his ex-wife can speak to her whenever she wishes. It was a condition of his gaining sole custody. The mother did not want the condition and neither did my cousin it was just some ignorant idea a judge had and so it has to be done. So the little one had a cell phone of her very own before she could even talk well enough to be understood on it. It is so ridiculous to see the little one walking around with a real cell phone in her hands usually just sucking on it or banging it on something. Her mother calls at the most inconvenient times and usually the little one refuses to converse with her and instead just drags the phone around by the handle while she plays and moms voice can be heard trying to get the babies attention. So in answer to the question of who are “these people”?….well apparently some judges are “these people”.

stevenbrycesmomm June 16, 2008, 2:42 PM

A pre-schooler with a cell phone or IPOD? That is the silliest thing I have ever heard. What in the world could they possibly need them for? There are much better things that money could be spent on for those kids, gee I don’t know maybe a 529 for college?


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