Apple iPhone becoming new pacifier for toddlers

Apple iPhone becoming new pacifier for toddlers
Toddlers are now calling out for their Apple iPhone by name, instead of a pacifier, when they need soothing. After all, if adults have a hard time turning off their smartphone when appropriate (been to the movies lately?), imagine how hard it is for a 1-3 year old, hypnotized by the blinking, colorful screen to give up this addiction.

Ironically, Dr. Hirsh-Pasek, a psychology professor at Temple University who specializes in early language development, sounds like she needs help herself. The Doctor told the New York Times about the iPhone that, "This is a magical phone,” she said. "I must admit I’m addicted to this phone."

About 50 years ago, when television was just coming into its own, there was a similar question about whether or not T.V. should be used as an electronic babysitter. As with the iPhone issue, the lines are drawn right in the middle as some have no problem turning over their touchscreen device to their toddler while others would never dream of doing it. Eventually, television programming was made with the education of children in mind. Shows like Sesame Street enabled these kids to get their daily television fix without realizing that they were learning something from watching the program. Perhaps some apps will be developed in the future that accomplishes the same "learning while playing" feeling.

There are some parents who feel that the Apple iPhone is an important learning tool. Jill Mikols Etesse is the mother of two daughters, aged 3 and 8. She notes that her younger daughter has a wider vocabulary and is ahead in reading and spelling when compared to where her older daughter was at the same age. For this, she gives credit to both the iPhone and iPad.The 3-year-old has learned to spell compound words through an app called Montessori Crossword, her mother said. "She uses words that I don’t use, so I know it isn’t coming from me,” Ms. Etesse said.

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source: NYTimes

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