When the Kids Favorite Toy Is Daddy s iPhone
Yesterday, my toddler broke another toy. But this wasn t an inexpensive, plastic doo-dad. It was my husband s iPhone.
Like many parents these days, my husband and I sometimes band over our smartphones to our son to soothe him or keep him entertained. It s partly laziness on our party---no other toy, it seems, can captivate him like the iPhone or BlackBerry. He s fascinated by the buttons and touchscreen, the sounds and lights. He hold it up to his ear and pretends he s making an important business call (or arranging a playdate with his best friend.) He somehow even managed to reprogram my BlackBerry to autotype in the Catalan language.
When we take away the BlackBerry or iPhone he wails; no other plaything even a pretty realistic toy cellphone satisfies him as much. (The marketing copy for the toy phone says This authentic looking play phone will surely distract your child from getting a hold of your cell phone! Ha! I wish.)
We often hide our phones-we don t want him to ruin them or grow too dependent on them but be almost always tracks them down once he hears the ring or the buzz of an incoming message. (Hiding a phone is tough, however, for those parents who need to have phones handy in case they re on call or the office beckons.) And when we pick up the phone or check messages, that only makes our son want the phone more, since he always wants whatever is in our hands.
Invariably, my son sticks the phone in his mouth and it ends up slobbery and pocked with bitemarks. Or when be eventually tires of the phone, he ll toss it aside, which is how my husband s iPhone met its recent doom.
We re not alone in using our cellphones as high-tech rattles. The AP recently ran a story on how more parents are downloading kid-friendly apps, such as white noise and rattle sounds and easy video games, to their cellphones. And according to a recent NPR report, one parent to encourage his 11-month-old baby to crawl, waves his Blackberry so the baby will crawl toward the gadget.
Readers, do you ever resort to handing over your smartphones to your kids? Any horror stories? Any good kid-friendly apps to recommend?
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