Showing posts with label responsibility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label responsibility. Show all posts

Would You Buy Your 5-Year Old an iPod?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1/7/2010 Update at the end of the post

I was flipping through O Magazine and saw a small piece where the reporter asked a fashion designer what he'd be packing in his beach bag this summer. One of the items he'd include is an iPod Touch for his five-year old. Five. Not 12 or 15. Five.

Um, what's a little person barely out of toddlerhood doing with an iPod Touch? That's quite a hefty piece of technology to be buried in the sand. I let Tyler use mine occasionally but would never consider getting him his own. Even if I had the money (and I don't, mine was purchased with birthday money), I wouldn't buy him one. He's just too young.

I'm still getting a lot of comments on this post so I wanted to share my feelings now.  When I wrote this Tyler was a few months shy of turning 7. At the time, he was not mature or responsible enough for his own iPod Touch. He's 8 now and I'm still not sure *I* would spring for him to have one of his own.

He sorta kinda tricked his Grandpa into buying him a Nintendo DSi. He's had for about half a year. He's been very careful with it in that he has not mishandled it, but he couldn't find it for a few days and we all thought it was lost. He forgot he'd put it in his Ta Kwon Do bag.

As some people have pointed out, the games for the iPod are much more affordable than Nintendo. I totally agree. Downloading an app for $1.99 versus buying a cartridge for $30-40 is a no brainer. It really is up to each family. If your 5 year-old is responsible enough to have $200 worth of technology, go for it. I think buying something in that price range for that age sets a bad precedent.

Now that Tyler has his DSi, we've told him we're not buying games for him (except for birthday gifts etc.) He's had to earn and save up money to buy what he wants. He's learned how much things cost, how long it takes to save for something and how long it takes him to earn money with his allowance. Those are concepts I think a 5 year-old is just starting to grasp and can't really put into practice yet.

Tyler would have been waiting a long time for us to buy a DSi. We have very strict usage rules with it (and the TV, Wii and computer). He can't sit in front of a screen all day. If he chooses to spend his morning watching TV, he can't play the computer at night too. This is another issue I have with kids and technology; how they encourage couch potato-ness and limit imagination. Again, 5 is a little young to start this behavior pattern.

I did buy an MP3 player for a Christmas gift but it's not a name brand. Tyler is perfectly happy with it and if he loses or breaks it I'm only out $12 ($22 on Amazon but I had a $10 credit). 

Every family is different. Do what feels right for you. I still think 5 is too young (I agree with Anonymous below about maturity and milestones), but if your kid is more mature and responsible than mine was at that age go for it.
copyright melanie sheridan 2009 template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)