Last week I shared my horror story about my son losing my iPhone in a restaurant. Left on a table in our rush to leave, a few panicky moments ensued, followed by its safe return. Frankly, I am really lucky. Not just because I got my phone back, but also for the fact it doesn’t happen more often. Handing iPhones to our kids during dinner out is a fairly standard practice in my family.
A friend gave me a pretty pointed comment after reading my story: “Don’t let the kids use the iPhone. Putting it in the hands of a 5-year-old is asking for trouble.”
That brought back memories from a conversation a few months ago, when another friend gave me a disapproving lecture. Kids spend less time with us and each other, she said, and too much in front of TVs, computers and handhelds. Sure, she has a point. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would say being planted in front of a screen is A-okay on a 24/7 basis. But I have always thought it could be part of a healthy balance.
I can’t be alone. In fact, I know I’m not. There are so many apps geared for children. Unless these tots are earning their own cash for devices and apps, then there’s got to be a windfall of parents out there giving their kids access, right? But these conversations have me wondering if we’re crazy to let our kids play with these expensive gadgets.
So here’s a question I’d like to throw out to you, our trusted TiP readers: Am I nuts to share this amazing piece of tech with the 8- and 5-year-old kids in my life (who are turning out to be more iPhone-smart than their mom)?
If you do let your kids (or niece/nephew) play with your iDevices, do you have rules set around usage? Do you have fail-safes, should they lose/drop/fling your device into a wall? Share your stories by letting me know in the comments.