Monday, November 9, 2015

I hope my son doesn't read this post

I was attempting to beat my Dad in our ongoing tournament of Words With Friends when my son inserted himself onto my lap and asked, "Are you looking at The Twitter? Can I see?"

This is my fault. I follow Sesame Street and The Muppets and sometimes I share their videos with him. I explained that I was just trying to win a game against his Pap-Pap.

"I guess I'll have to ask Santa to get me a phone for Christmas. Or maybe even an iPad," he said.

"I don't think Santa delivers those kinds of gifts to children your age, honey," I said. "I think you have to be older and more responsible."

Clearly, I was wrong.

Research published in Pediatrics last month discovered that across 350 households half the children had their own television and three-fourths their own mobile device. That's not a device that they share with other family members - that's a device for their own use. Here's the kicker: All those households had children under the age of four.

To me, that is madness.

I believe I am pretty good about not handing my phone to my son. He gets to sing and talk to us during car rides and we play with the UNO cards I keep in my purse while waiting for dinner in restaurants. I've also made sure he doesn't know my phone's unlock code, so we maintain control over the toothbrushing app he sometimes uses.

I know that he loves playing video games - and it's not that we deny him that joy in life. He is allowed to play Wii (after he finishes all his homework and on weekends only) and he has a LeapPad. Maybe I am too controlling, but I think another device to play games on is the last thing my five-year-old needs.

Does your child have their own mobile device? How old was your child when you gave it to him/her? Tell me in the comments.

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