I have a pet peeve, people.
Please, don't give my toddler or my BABY, your cell phone to play with unless you ask me.
Parenting in the modern day culture of advanced technology, gaming and smart phones can sometimes be tricky to navigate. I mean, young children have cell phones and iPads, things of which I didn't get until high school or adulthood. I see elementary aged children texting or gaming away on their phones and I see young teenagers forgetting the art of conversation because they are tied to their Snapchat or Instagram. It's scary sometimes...
I'm not perfect, I do these things too sometimes. But as a WAHM who runs a business based on the awesome world of technology, I still try and watch how often my cell phone is in my hands in front of my children. I don't want them to think that it's okay or that it is normal for someone to be so glued to their phones or computers. I know I always have room for improvement on this, but the one thing I know that I do successfully do is limit my children's own time with electronics.
My recent pet peeve is when my children are handed phones to play with - REAL phones. So below, I'll just tell you why I can't stand this habit that I see happening more and more all over.
- It makes them like you strictly for your phone. If they know that Susie will let them play games on the phone a lot and whenever, chances are then that they will take an extreme liking to Susie just because of this. I want my child to want to be with someone because they enjoy spending time with them, not because of the cell phone.
- Radiation. It's bad enough we are all using our phones a lot and exposing ourselves to so much that we may not really know a lot about. I'd like to limit my child's exposure to these things please. There's enough research out there to back up saying that cell phones may not be the safest thing.
- Germs. Giving my baby who still chews on everything your phone to chew on, is a quick way for me to never want to bring her around again. Phones are the nastiest thing out there, so to intentionally let them chew on it is just GROSS.
- It's bad for them. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two not receive any exposure to television and games, etc... While I know my one year old obviously hears Mickey playing in the background as her big sister watches it, I still don't believe in sitting a phone in front of my baby's face. I know in extreme circumstances it can be handy (like while eating out with friends), but in most cases, it is simply not needed. And as for toddlers, well I want my child to play, have a wild imagination and go outdoors. It's hard enough to battle TV time sometimes, I can at least achieve limiting or allowing no gaming on phones and pads.
- It's rude. A toddler who is deep into a game on a cell phone in public is losing social stimulation and appears to be rude as they are in their own world of gaming. Gaming on electronics whether it's educational or not, should be saved for special times at home with supervision and for a limited time.
- It's not okay to just assume it's okay. Always ask the parents first, always.
I know some people aren't concerned with this and some people may think that the more the better since there are so many educational games and apps now and that is totally okay. If you don't mind your child going to town on your cell phone or if you don't mind when Grandma hands her phone over, that's you and it's okay. But this is me and this is my pet peeve.
Ask first, don't assume.