iPads, iPods, cell phones, oh my! It is quite obvious that technology and gadgetsare advancing quicker than us moms can clean up messes, but how much is too much too soon? Almost every where you look you will see a kid in elementary school with a cell phone.The coolest gadget I had in high school was a pager and an ancient cell phone. HA. I doubt many kids these days would even know what a pager is.

There are arguments that support each side of kids having and using these devices. Educational uses vs. babysitter? Necessity vs. “because everyone else has it”? An article and poll in the Huffington Post has views from all angles, although over 44% that took the poll said parents shouldn’t buy their kids an iPad. However, an article in Tech Journal said due to Apple marketing the iPad for educational purposes for kids they did a recent study and found that 1/3 of American parents were willing to buy their children iPads!  What does a child actually NEED an iPad for? Is there anything that he or she NEEDS to be doing that can’t be done on a regular computer? Can a child even appreciate the value of an iPad?  This Modern Parent Messy Kids blogger is all for sharing her iPad with her 3 year old. Would you rather share yours or buy them their own…and at what age?

We live in a tech-obsessed culture and kids will definitely need to be tech-savvy in order to make it in most careers as adults. Kids of all ages usually pick up these skills much easier than adults do because they are more comfortable with it. My son last year (in the 1st grade) made a Power Point presentation for my husband and me as part of a project. I haven’t ever even made one! I never had to in college and now am a stay at home mom, I am sure I could figure it out pretty easily, but never had a reason to try. He whizzed through it like it was no big deal. There is no doubt that going through school kids will have a very good knowledge of computers and it will definitely be useful. How quickly does a healthy computer usage turn into much more?

Where do parents draw the line? What is okay and what is not okay? My boys are always asking to play with something….the iPad, Kindle, phone, desktop computer…you name it. We are mean parents and haven’t given in to any of the relentless pleads and requests for them to have their own gadgets. 😉 Don’t get me wrong we will let them play a few games on ours here and there or watch movies on the iPad on trips, but we personally think they are too young to have their own of any of the above. The only gadget they have is a Wii, and that is courtesy of some super cool grandparents.

For being young parents with 3 kids in today’s society, my husband and I have a very old school view on our kids having this stuff. No TV or computer in their rooms until college, we have one family computer and a TV in each living room. No cell phone any time soon, there is no need. As for the iPad & Kindle well, using ours occasionally will just have to be good enough. You just don’t get to be a kid very long these days and we want our boys outside playing, getting dirty, and looking for innocent mischief.

What are your thoughts?

  • How young in too young for a cell phone? Kindle? iPad?
  • What gadgets, if any, do your kids have?
  • What is the purpose of them having it?
  • Do you see an educational benefit from having any of these gadgets?
  • Do they have a Wii, Xbox, Play Station?


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