Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Thursdays Thing I Hate: I-Kids

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Thursdays Thing I Hate: I-Kids

Now before I start this rant, don't get me wrong - as the recent proud owner of an I-Phone I am very much an Apple Convert and have forever turned my back on Blackberry...I'm not against technology at all, infact I am rather surgically attached to my own i-phone.

But my rant this week isn't about adults - it's about kids with i-phones, i-pads, etc etc.

I realise that children want to emulate their parents and so, inevitably, if they see their Mums & Dads playing on phones and tablets etc then they're going to want one too. 

But that's what TOY mobile phones and leap-pads etc were invented for!!!

Your 3 year old child does NOT need an actual Iphone!!!
It really irritates me when I see young children asking for iphones for Christmas - there is plenty of time for all of that when they're older, but while they're children...let them actually BE children!! 

Call me old fashioned if you like but the Christmas lists of 5 year olds should be filled with toy cars and dolls prams, and certainly nothing manufactured by Apple!

Last week I went out to a restaurant with some friends, and whilst waiting to be seated I saw a family sitting together having their meal - this should have been a lovely sight. There was a Mum, Dad, boy of about 15, boy of about 8 and girl of about 3.

But no instead of seeing the family talking about their day together, sharing a joke and laughing together, enjoying their evening out - what I actually saw was:

*The Mother eating with one hand, Kindle in the other hand - engrossed in reading something
*The Father completely ignoring his dinner and barking down his mobile phone at somebody
*The teenage son playing on a handheld computer game
*The middle child typing away on an Ipad
and - possibly most disturbingly of all - the little girl of about 3, holding an ipod touch and tapping away at the screen - seeming to know exactly what she was doing.

Now I might have just assumed the girl had been passed her Mums ipod to keep her occupied while everybody else was "busy", but the fact that this ipod had a Peppa Pig case on it and the skill with which she used it made me quite sure it did actually belong to her!

I find this so sad - these children were sitting with their parents and siblings but clearly far more interested in the piece of technology in their hands, each of them might as well have been dining completely alone as for the duration of their meal I didn't see them speak to each other once. Even when they finished their meal and left, they all carried on looking at their various hand held devices as they walked out - they didn't look up at all!

I understand that children might ASK for things like ipods and iphones - and yes, once they start getting to 9 or 10 it may be harder to reason with them and you may have to start thinking about when you're going to give in to their requests - but while they're 4, 5, 6 years old you can (and, in my opinion, SHOULD!) say NO!

Preserve their childhood for as long as possible! They have the rest of their lives to be grown ups! 

And at the end of the day, what does a pre-schooler need a sodding phone for anyway?!!!!! Who are they ever going to call?!!!


  1. I so agree with you! My friend's daughter got an ipad when she was 3! xx

    1. Its a bit ridiculous isn't it?! What can a 3 year old child possibly need with an iPad?! :/ xx

  2. I think there are really two issues here - children using this sort of technology and owning their own devices. I have no problem at all with children using technology as long as it's balanced with other types of play - so much creative and educational stuff can be done using technology, it can really enhance learning a lot. But I wouldn't buy my child their own iPad - technology like that needs to be shared and used under supervision.

    And the family in your example sound plain bad mannered. Though maybe the middle child was writing a blog post about the fact that some woman in the restaurant kept looking at them...

    1. I agree that using technology is fine - and even important! They need to keep up. I remember having computer lessons in school so I'm sure schools today do incorporate modern technology into learning.
      But for me the issue isn't so much about supervision of the internet on these devices, to me its just sad to see a child as young as 3 bypassing the things that you can really ONLY enjoy in young childhood (role play, playing with dolls/cars, etc, imaginative play, etc) in favour of things like Iphones which they have the rest of their lives for.
      Part of me really does think a lot of it is just parents showing off how much money they can spend when they're paying out hundreds on an iphone for a 3 year old who, lets face it, isn't going to know many people with a phone that they can even call!

  3. This really bugs me! Stacey's 9 and isn't allowed a mobile phone/ipad/laptop of her own, yet almost all of her friends have had mobiles for years. In my opinion they really don't need them. I'm considering getting Stacey an ipod for her birthday though as her pink Barbie MP3 player is a little on the babyish side for her now but there's no way I'm allowing her to have the internet on it!

    Lou xxx

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

    1. It must be hard when a child gets to Stacey's age as they're getting to the point where its hard to reason why they can't have one, because like you said - all their friends have them!
      I think giving Stacey an Ipod is fair enough, its when I see 2 and 3 year olds getting them that it makes my blood boil! :/ xxx

  4. I don't see the issue, as long as there is a balance. The situation in the restaurant is not good, because its a shame to go out all together then not enjoy each other's company but I like my kids play on my phone or tablets, they actually use the tablets more than I do because I prefer laptop so I've put more kiddish apps on and let them use it sometimes - so really its pretty much theirs, but they have to ask cos I don't like them to have free access to it. Using these technologies is not going to stop them having their childhood. It's all about the balance

    1. See for me its not so much about access to the internet and supervision - its seeing children as young as 3 getting iPhones for Christmas, I just think its sad and I disagree - I do think its taking away their childhood.
      What does a 3 year old need a phone for?! Are they going to have anybody to call? In the cases of a lot of people I know who have children of pre-school age that own iphones and ipads, it seems that the parents think it shows status to give these expensive products to children that are too young to actually need or understand them - when really, a childs version would do just fine.
      I find it really sad - in my opinion the Christmas stockings of toddlers should be filled with toys that encourage imagination and creativity, not expensive technology that is aimed at adults - they have years ahead of them for all of that. Why rush it?!

  5. I can see exactly where you are coming from. The family you talked about- big problem. Sitting round a dinner table is a time for talking and sharing thoughts, ideas, memories, laughing, learning and most of cherishing the time with the people you love. If its like this out for Dinner i dread to think how it is at home.
    I don't like children having phones, why do they need them? I had my first phone at 16 and i survived!
    My 4 year old is allowed to play on the tablet on drawing apps or learning apps.
    Technology is a strange thing. It helps you communicate with others easily but at the same time it stops communication.


If you're feeling generous, please consider leaving me a comment as they brighten up my days and make me feel all warm inside!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail me at or tweet me @sparkles_blog