This morning, Cara spent 15 or 20 minutes snuggled up with me on the couch playing with my iphone. I was excited to see that Starfall has an app for iphone, which is what she's playing in the pictures. She picked up on how to manipulate the letters on the screen faster than I did, though there are a few things that still give her a little trouble, like dragging letters around the screen. But, flipping pages or clicking on a letter is a piece of cake.
She really likes the iphone. I mean, she really likes it. I have to admit that I'm having a bit of an internal struggle about this. It's not the reinforcing her letters and sounds that bothers me; it's the judgment. There have been quite a few articles floating around the internets (like this NYT article and debate) about how bad too much screen time can be for toddlers, that they should be playing with three dimensional objects instead of staring at the screen. The NYT debate is actually titled "Wired Kids, Negligent Parents?" Whoa. That's, um, some heavy judgment. These screens are not going away. Computers, smart phones, tablets, etc. are only going to become more and more integrated into our daily lives. Parenting a two-year-old in 2011 is so different from parenting a two-year-old in 1985, and I am only expecting things to get more complicated.
So, am I a bad mom because I let Cara play a game on my iphone? I can see how the game would really come in handy at restaurants when she's getting antsy or in the car on a long trip. But what would other people think ? (Let me take a moment to say that no, I don't really care what other people think, but I would like to avoid the death stares and "well-meaning" advice.) Would they look at our two-year-old playing with her mommy's phone and see me as a slack, even negligent, parent? Should I be resisting the the pull of technology and handing Cara another crayon to throw on the floor? Or is okay for her to play games on Mommy's phone every now and then?