Sunday, June 24, 2012
I think this is a bit disturbing, to be honest. Why on earth does a baby need to be playing with an iPhone? The outside of it is clearly a baby toy. A baby as young as four months could probably hang onto it. But why would they need to look at what's on a screen at that age?
The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends that there should be no television for children under two years of age. I've always assumed that this would extend to any kind of computer activity as well. I certainly wouldn't give one to my baby (and wouldn't it get dribbled on and eaten anyway?).
But obviously there now is a market for this kind of toy. I just think it's sad that anyone would think it's a good idea to expose a baby to this sort of technology. There's no need for it, and it's just another way to avoid interacting with your child. I have a theory that the increased use of technology at increasingly younger ages might have something to do with the increase in childhood development and behaviour issues we are seeing clinically. I would see this happen all the time when I was at work. Parents would turn up with their child for an assessment, park themselves in the waiting room, give their kid the phone to play with and not even speak to them. Then they wonder why their child has all these difficulties with language and play skills. I always wanted to tell them to put the stupid phone away and try talking to the child, or playing with the carefully chosen toys and puzzles we bought for our waiting area.
I wish I could say I was a perfect role model in this department myself. The world of the internet is oh so distracting, and it's all too easy for a couple of minutes on the computer to turn into a much longer time. I like time to myself, and without it, it's easy for me to become cranky or over-stimulated by my kids being busy and active. Giving the kids a phone or iPad to play with or even putting them in front of the television (we don't have the first two options, but I have been guilty of using the television as a babysitter so I can go online), is an easy solution if you want peace and quiet.
But like most things, the quick and easy solution is not necessarily the one that's in our children's long term best interests.