What Kind of Mom Buys Her Toddler an iPhone?

Jeanne Sager
34

iphoneEvery time I turn around there's a new app for the iPhone meant specifically for kids. Look, this one will teach them their ABCs. This one lets them raise frogs without a big tank of water that will inevitably get dumped all over your living room floor. You're getting the picture.

And you're getting why I was sitting in a theater the other day only to hear the mom behind me tell me all about her 4-year-old's iPhone. Not her iPhone that her 4-year-old was using. Oh. No. His OWN iPhone. Encased in one of those super-de-duper ain't nothin' gonna break this baby cases that nearly doubled the size of the thing in order to protect it, I'd initially been fooled by its appearance. But sure enough, there was an iPhone underneath all that shock absorbance and silicone, and the 4-year-old was going to town on some game or another during intermission, leaving me asking:

Who gives a toddler an iPhone?

Really, America? Have we gotten this far? I've finally come to grips with the iPads for toddlers with special needs -- turns out they're fantabulous for kids with autism especially. And I personally think my iPhone is the bomb diggity in part because I've discovered the power of using it as a parenting tool. Angry Birds is a lifesaver during a power outage. I worship at the church of Apple at the moment, but I'm not ponying up for the kid too.

Go ahead. Call me a judgy mommy. But let's just forget the obvious questions like cost ($400 for a toddler item? -- the only thing my kid owns that falls in that range is her bed, which has converted from crib to toddler bed to day bed to double bed) and the insidious push of technology into playtime. I had just one question for this mom that I was too wussy to ask. Do you know what an iPhone is used for?

I use mine for email, for getting on the web, for all sorts of things, its true. But the REAL reason I have it is to make phone calls. That's the point of a cellphone, right? To call people? To be accessible?

And what does a toddler need a cellphone for? If we think they'll ever be in a position where they'll actually need to make a call, we need to ask ourselves, what kind of parent are we, that we'd allow them to be alone, without a capable adult who can make the call for them. If you REALLY think the apps are that necessary, here's a tip. Get an iPod Touch. They're half the price, have all the apps, and your toddler can't accidentally call China. Oh yeah, and you don't have to deal with moms like me wondering about moms like you.

Am I just being a judgy mommy here, are are these moms going too far to make their kids happy?

 

Image via marc.flores/Flickr

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