iPhones for 3 Year Olds
- They are naturally attracted to the iPhone or most other gadgets that have interesting buttons.
- They can figure out how to use it almost intuitively
- It can be a great distractor in those restless moments that every parent knows.
So what's the down side? Children acquire knowledge in a fairly organized, developmental pattern, as Swidey notes, going from the concrete to the abstract. Wouldn't we want them to experience the 'real,' whether it's bubble wrap or balls or trees, before they become too entwined with the screen version? And then there's the nagging reality of childhood obesity. Should we be certain that children have the right balance of active vs. passive activity? Perhaps the answer lies with Dr. Michael Rich. Swidey interviewed this pediatrician who is the director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston. Rich, too, worries about the overuse of technology by very young children, but doesn't call for a total ban. Instead he promotes moderation which means parents have to be responsible moderators. As he picks up his iPhone, Rich says, 'You know what? It's here to stay. Let's learn to use it in ways that help us and learn to turn it off when it's not helpful.