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An iTouch for a 2-Year-Old?!

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Guest blogger Mom-To-Be: I was at a restaurant a few days ago, and there was a long wait. As I looked around at all the people packed in like sardines, I decided it was a prime people-watching opportunity. And because I'm pregnant, of course I often notice other pregnant women, and especially babies and toddlers.

There were a ton of them. I oohed and aahed over their chubby cheeks and festive outfits, and tried to envision what my own baby would look like. I fantasized about bringing him or her to a restaurant just like the one we were in, and smiling because he/she was so angelic, loving to sit peacefully in my arms. (I can dream, right?)

But as I took a closer look, I noticed something. Almost all of the toddlers were playing with some type of electronic device. I saw an iTouch; I saw a video game. I thought, Is this the answer to ensuring that your kids behave in public? None of the toddlers were acting out in any way. I didn't hear any crying. There were no temper tantrums. But as one family departed, I saw a 2- or 3-year-old walking out with an electronic device in hand. He was walking slowly so as to still be able to play his game, and he was holding up the crowd behind him. He looked exactly like a grown man I'd seen at the mall the day before: oblivious to his surroundings, concentrated on his gadget. And I wondered, Do we want our kids to be so consumed by a device that they are oblivious to even us?

I'm just not sure I'll be able to go down this electronic road with my child. I didn't even have a cell phone until I was in my twenties. There was no Internet. There were no mobile gaming devices. I think I played with sugar packets and creamers while sitting at restaurant tables.

Are those days gone? Do we now have to up our entertainment level and buy our babies electronics to keep up with what they'll expect? Or are we setting their expectations when we either buy or don't buy them gadgets before they can even read and write?

next: 10 Mom-Worthy Christmas Gifts from Harry Potter's World
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kirsten December 22, 2010, 9:19 AM

As the mother of a 2 1/2 year old, I have to admit I am guilty of giving my son the itouch or our cell phones to play with when we face a long wait somewhere. The gadgets aren’t his, but he thinks they are. It’s lighter and smaller than hauling books around, and there are some very educational games out there. Though, I do think it is very important for parents to teach their children proper manners in public and not rely solely on electronics to entertain.

CosmoGirl December 22, 2010, 2:14 PM

Um, I don’t think the babies and toddlers actually personally own the iPod’s/iPads whatever…their mom or dad probably let them use it for a few minutes so they could get some peace and quiet. I’m guilty of it. It does buy a few minutes of peace and quiet.

Sara December 22, 2010, 2:54 PM

I think they’re fantastic for waiting rooms ect. .

I do however hate seeing them used when there are other kids around. Kids playing with their machines instead of eachother.

Michelle December 22, 2010, 6:12 PM

I am a grizzled mom of an 8 year old boy. When ny son was 2, six years ago, use of electronic devices werent as prevalent as now.
Anyhow, I limit his usage of electronic devices. My son also played in a soccer league, baseball league, etc. He reads. In other ways, as long as electronic devices arent his sole diversion, you should be ok.

Tiffany December 23, 2010, 7:09 AM

I’m guilty of it! My 3 year old daughter owns an itouch. We ended up buying her one when she wouldn’t stop messing with our iphones! We love the fact that we control what games she plays and what movies to watch. She has headphones to go with them. Its no different than having a leapster or any other v-tech game. My only advice…be sure to buy a hard, bulky case to cover the itouch! They WILL drop it…so better safe than sorry.

Kim December 23, 2010, 8:42 PM

This is something I might have said before I had kids too. But hey, let’s see if this blogger changes her mind in 3 years. My kids do NOT own electronic devices, I own them and control them. And when my kids have paying jobs of their own someday, they may purchase said electronic devices. That said, sometimes letting my kids play my phone can save their sanity, mine, and all the surrounding people in a doctor’s office or restaurant. But there’s plenty of time (in appropriate places) for free, creative play.

Karen December 26, 2010, 8:06 PM

Don’t give in to the electronics! I have a very energetic 2 year old and she behaves very well in public without any electronics. Give your kid a lot of your attention and keep them engaged in what is going on around them. My baby is not perfect and she does occasionally get upset, but usually it is warranted, and usually it can be resolved with a small snack/drink, or something to color with. About 98% of the time though, she is minding her manners in public, and doing so without electronics.

KS December 26, 2010, 10:11 PM

We have four boys and NO not one of them either owns a hand held electronic device nor are any of them allowed to play with them as a pacifier. They are expected to behave as civilized human beings and when they do have a temper tantrum I do that cave man Esq thing and **GASP** discipline them.

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Darlene Malone March 6, 2011, 12:11 AM

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