Ipads, Cell Phones And Laptops– Oh My

by Debbie Twomey on June 20, 2013



Is your child addicted to a cell phone or iPad? Today there is a very real concern that young children are becoming addicted to the screens, apps and games found on their mobile devices. Children as young as four years old have been diagnosed as addicted to the iPad.

I can tell you my 20 month old granddaughter loves my cell phone. She either begs to see the babies (videos and photos of her and Josh) or dance, dance, dance (YouTube music). I had to make it very special treat for her to use the phone because she was begging all the time.

In my day the concern was that children would become dependent on the television. I remember hearing adults say she is watching too much television or don’t let the kids sit so close they could go blind. I am sure there have been some side effects to inactivity that came with TV watching.

But in looking around at today’s playgrounds I guess the concern is regarding technology and addicting behavior with children as young as 4.

Everywhere I looked I saw heads bent over and fingers frantically texting. I saw just as many parents doing this too and what I did not see was as much interaction between parent and child and older children who were there to “play.”

A colleague mentioned that she noticed some kid’s handwriting has really taken a dive. Another friend observed that writing skills left a little to be desired. I myself have become aware of how many people are losing the ability to actually converse. I recently went to a party and I swear I saw more tops of people’s heads than anyone’s face.

I appreciate technology. I make my living due in large part to technology. But I am also aware that too many people are replacing actual social skills with cell phones, ipads and computers.  I believe there is a way to balance technology and remaining socially adept.

Technology has amazing qualities in educating and informing our children but it can become a serious problem if not monitored or “time limited.”

 “Babies and young children love the lights and colors emitted by tablets and cell phones, and will use them compulsively unless parents set limits, said a psychiatrist who is treating Britain's youngest iPad addict.”http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/ipad-addict-4-years-old-article-1.1324900

Two other articles regarding this addiction is: New York Times series on the physiological effects of electronics on young minds  and http://www.zoneinworkshops.com/articles/ten-steps-to-successfully-unplug-children-from-technology/

Here are some ways overuse of technology can adversely affect children physically and mentally:

  • Attention problems
  • Warped body image issues
  • Early sexuality
  • Attachment disorders
  • Aggression
  • Obesity
  • Delays in development
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Conflicts with family and friends
  • Poor academics
  • Distress and hard to calm down when removing the devices from toddlers as well as teens
  • Poor social skill and writing skills
  • Physical trouble with necks and thumbs eventually
  • Parents can help curb this possible addiction by limiting access to electronic devices. Be vigilant—a mind is a terrible thing to waste but so too is all that young physical 



Parents can help curb this possible addiction by limiting access to electronic devices. Be vigilant—a mind is a terrible thing to waste but so too is all that young physical energy.

I suggest having rules for laptops, cell phones and ipads especially for younger children whose main use is for recreation. Try monitoring what apps or games they use and make sure they are educational rather than addicting violent games or a waste of time

Limit time to no more than 2 hours. The average time now is between 6-8 hours, way too much. Technology is amazing and has so much to offer kids today but just like anything—too much of a good thing can be bad.

The techno gadgets can be great to keep small children (and tweens) occupied but try not to rely on them too often. Families still need real engagement, conversations and family time.

I mean I know I will use a DVD player and probably interactive games for long trips when McKenna is a bit older because those screams in a car can be deafening. But that will be a last resort for me. First I will have her learning Leapfrog steering wheel, books and music before I bring out the “big guns.”

Today’s technology is awesome and I believe its reach is beneficial to all. But using common sense is essential for everyone who uses any of these devices—be smart and be safe.


"I have dedicated my life to the care and welfare of children. I feel privileged to share what I have learned with you. I am also committed to continuously learning.iStock_000004213744XSmall  I will keep informed of the latest information in parenting children from newborns to teens and pass it on to all of you.”   I will also use that same passion to help you create a dynasty generate increases in your business with straightforward and specialized media managing skills that guarantee your connection and scope will grow. Keep up to date reading our posts and discover valuable insights that can make parenting and succeeding in the business of the blogger– the most exciting adventure. (Debbie Twomey)
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