Isabella ThunderBolt

Oops. Somebody's inadvertently gone and started a rational discussion on Google+, about whether kids should be allowed to play with our expensive toys. There's no right or wrong answer (until the inevitable happens, we suppose) -- to each his (or her) own.

So, let's hear it. We know you love your Android smartphone or tablet. Do you love your kids enough to let them play with several hundred dollars worth of hardware?

More: Our favorite kids apps for Android


Reader comments

Poll: Do you let your kids play with your phone or tablet?


try and stop them... our one year old thinks they are a step stool and the 3 year old likes to watch videos and knows hows on iphones, webos, and andriod..

Your kids must have a ball with bleach, large kitchen knives, antifreeze, sticking their fingers in wall sockets, crawling across a red hot stove, pulling the hot iron down on heads (pointy end first), and running down the hall with scissors……try and stop them….right?

First impression is you are not a parent?
what are they going to do? stab each other with it..

so what if they break a phone. I have TEP for a reason. The 3 year old likes netflix and angry birds and we have the cars memory game.

The one year old I try to keep it away from him, but the little bugger is a ninja, as anyone that had a kid walking by 10 months, by the time they are 15 months.. you have trouble stopping them from anything! it's why gates and plug covers were invented.

First impression from irresponsible parents is always - so, you aren't a parent, are you? You people are as predictable as a two year old.

Just because some parents let their kids run wild and destroy everything they touch, doesn't mean everyone does.

So you have discovered gates and plague covers, good for you (and your kids!!)

Keeping a phone away from a 1-2 year old is not rocket science, but it does take some responsibility on your part. It's called putting things out of reach….no inventions needed.

Good luck raising your kids….and good luck to your friends and family when you bring them over for a uncontrolled romp.

"First impression from self-righteous parents is always - so, you don't do things the way I do therefore you are a bad parent. You people are as predictable as a two year old.

Just because some parents hover over their kids and never let them run wild and destroy anything, doesn't mean people that do are bad.

Keeping from sounding like an asshole is not rocket science, but it does take some responsibility on your part. It's called tact, Google it.

Good luck raising your kids….and good luck to your friends and family when you bring them over for a visit in your hermetically sealed clean room of a life."

See I can make hyperbolies too. If you weren't trying to... well then you just came off like an ass. Do you seriously call other parents out like this in real life? If you talked like this to my face, you'd get at best a hearty "fuck you".

My kids are all grown and having their own kids, everyone is happy healthy and doing fine - thanks for asking.

Yes, I am a straight talker to everyone to their face. If parents are letting their kids run amuk in my home, I put a swift stop to it. If they run amuk in their own homes I bite my tongue.

I refrain from using profanity in front of the kids, you may not - you certainly see nothing wrong in using it in polite forum conversations…..if you were to say "FU" to my face, I'd simply say; "go ahead, try it."

Not that it matters to you, but you came off as a bit asinine to me.

Mike_is_Mike_is ... an idiot. Your trolling up and down this article forcing your restrictive views down everyone's throats is ridiculous. I have a 3 year old brother who loves my iPhone 4 and my other bothers Galaxy tab 10.1 he has LEARNED to USE both to get to watch his movies, and games. I'm not sure if your children only had the mental capacity to chew and slobber, but in my family they can actually learn to make use of things.

And as an extra precaution I we always have protection on such as cases, and screen protectors. They protect against bite marks quite well. *Rolls eyes*

And I'm a college student who isn't the richest, but isn't selfish and scared enough to keep my gadgets to myself.

Mike_is_Mike_is ... an idiot. Your trolling up and down this article forcing your restrictive views down everyone's throats is ridiculous. I have a 3 year old brother who loves my iPhone 4 and my other bothers Galaxy tab 10.1 he has LEARNED to USE both to get to watch his movies, and games. I'm not sure if your children only had the mental capacity to chew and slobber, but in my family they can actually learn to make use of things.

And as an extra precaution I we always have protection on such as cases, and screen protectors. They protect against bite marks quite well. *Rolls eyes*

And I'm a college student who isn't the richest, but isn't selfish and scared enough to keep my gadgets to myself.

I don't have to resort to abusive and insulting name calling - and I am not forcing anything on anyone, nor could I even if I wished to do so.

Good luck in school....and good night all.

actually you did.
You called me a bad parent.
My 3 yr old is respectful, polite and listens well. Takes care of his toys and has plenty of his own gadgets he treats just fine. He knows how to do this because I let him learn.

My one yr old is a one yr old gadget ninja that likes to stack things then step on it, so if I, yes me, leave my phone were he can reach, he will darn well get it faster then you can blink, and if punishing him for my mistakes the correct thing to do, then i'll be a bad parent any day.

don't argue with him, he's just jealous that he's not a father and you love your kids.

my son has more apps on MY iPhone & Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 than I do.

Mike, come on, It's a phone or tablet. They are completely different than knives, hot stoves or irons. I'm pretty sure a phone or tablet are less lethal. You don't have to attack anybody just because they don't share your views. There's nothing wrong with letting kids play with your android or any other device. I have a younger brother and sister who are in elementary school and they know how to run my Thunderbolt, Logitech Revue and they have their own iPod touch (I hog my phone for myself, it's not that I don't trust them, it's that I like playing with my phone too much)and I see nothing wrong with that.

I was making a point. If parents want to share their phones and tablets with their children that is, obviously, their business.

But letting a 1 year cut their teeth on $600 smart phone is not wise, or safe for the child.

Teaching a 2 year old what is a toy and what is not, helps them learn other things later in life - like respect for property...theirs AND others.

First time parents get so caught up in how cute their little darlings are, that they forget their responsibility roles. They usually learn from their mistakes on their 2nd & 3rd child….or these days they may learn on their 2nd or 3rd $600 smartphone.

A $600 phone is nothing next to the joy of seeing your little ones happy.

When my son was 2yrs old, one day he began to beat our brand new 47" flat screen TV with a broom. he liked the sound of wood on glass. so cute.

:D pretty funny Jon!

Where do you live? I'd like to open a Best Buy right next door to you! :D

...... I should probably open a hardware store on the other side as well....

See that's the problem right there--your child beats a new TV and your reply is "so cute?" Oh come on! Are we parents here or are children's friends? Sure he doesn't know any better, but that's what any parent is supposed to do--teach them to know better, in a way that they will NEVER FORGET.

Let's just put it this way--my 2 year-old son kept fiddling with the buttons on his room air conditioner, I kept saying "don't touch," but he'd do it anyway--I once caught him in the act and he took his hands off of them quickly as if he thought I'd somehow fail to notice. Clearly he KNEW he was doing wrong.

Well I DIDN'T fail to notice, and let's just say that after I got through with him, he hasn't touched the knobs on his air conditioner since. Yet, he STILL smiles and is playful with me, he doesn't pee in his pants upon seeing me because he's scared of me full-time. However, he IS scared of what will happen if he touches those buttons again, and frankly, that's the way it's SUPPOSED to be. He has plenty of other things to fiddle with, and I got tired of his room either being hot where he turns it off or ice-cold from him turning it up on maximum. If it's necessary to instill a little healthy fear to do that, so be it.

Well let me make my point Mike, you're rude. This is suppose to be a fun poll/thread that should bring up light on how we feel about letting kids play around with our devices. It's fine that you believe that children shouldn't play with a $600 phone or tablet, I'm not gonna take that away from you, you're entitled to your own opinion but you don't have to go to every single parent/uncle/aunt/grandparent or older sibling on here and tell them they are murdering their children or raising them to be felons. If they are babies or a 2 year old, they don't comprehend what the difference is between a phone or a teddy bear. my lil bro and sis are much older than that and they know what respect for someone elses property is. If you want to have a debate on the subject of whether kids should play with our devices, which is why it was brought up in the first place, then feel free but quit acting like you're Dr. Phil or whatever on here, it's not welcomed.

You made your point.

However, I did not speak to every single parent/uncle/aunt/grandparent or older sibling on here and tell them they are murdering their children or raising them to be felons.....although, I like your thinking....wish I had thought of it first. :)

So let me get this straight, I'm allowed to debate, but only if I do so in a manner that pleases you? I'm sorry, but that's not welcomed here.

I finally setup an account just to respond to this thread. I have two children - 2 and 4 years old. They have their own Ipad, use of my EVO 4G, use of my Motorola Xoom, and use of my Viewsonic GTablet. I feel that in addition to toys, children should be exposed to technology. The 2 year old was able to swipe and unlock the Ipad before she was 1. The 4 year old knows how to access all of her games and books on AlL of the devices.

Of course, I have to watch the 2 year old when she handles the devices but, that is my job as a parent. I also watch her when she plays with her toys. Just as I grew up using the technology that was available to me as a child, my children will do the same. I went to school for a LONG time to obtain the education and financial status that allows me to know that I should always watch my children, no matter what they are doing, and the ability to provide the latest technology for their exploration and advancement.

I cannot find a direct link between your examples of a "ball with bleach", "large kitchen knives", and tablets and smartphones. How the hell is my kid going to "drink" an Ipad or "stab herself" with a smartphone. If the items should break, I do have the means available to replace them. A broken smartphone or Ipad is not the end of the world, and it is more important to me to provide my children with access to the things that will be around them when they go out into the world. I am not advocating that others provide the cadre of devices that I have but one should recognize that children are people and deserve to be treated as such.

My 2 year old Daughter plays with my Wife's iPhone more than she does my Galaxy S. She grabs my Wife's iPhone, unlock it, scroll through the pages and will turn on Netflix and start watching her shows... it makes me cringe and makes me proud at the same time.

My son LOVES my Xoom. Kid Mode is the best. I turn the child lock on, and let him loose on it. He's figured out how to play 3 of the simple alphabet and coloring games on his own so far. At 16 months old, I think he has a knack for it, and if he breaks it it's okay I just want him to learn how to handle tech, and that's priceless at any level.

(Most) Anyone with SMALL children would care less about the cost of the phone. It's worth so much more to watch your child figure stuff out on their own. Can buy another phone, but those moments, not so much.

I'm sure HTC LOVES customers like you!! I'll bet Tyco is kicking themselves for trying to make cheap, safe, educational toys....when what consumers REALLY want are $600 cell phones for their kids to trash.

I see the spin doctors have arrived. I guess I should have mentioned that I made my comments under the assumption that everyone was smart enough to know that only a fool would blindly leave his tech open to destruction. No offense, but I'll be more careful for your sake, because everyone else seemed to understand my comment. My son plays with the Xoom under supervision so that he doesn't throw or smash it, but I allow him to explore Kid Mode freely. I've yet to see him break anything thusfar, but hey accidents happen and I'm willing to accept that if it happened. I shouldn't have to spell that out. So much for common sense. Now you may resume your comment trolling till you find another comment to take out of context.

Agreed on the Kid Mode! My 2 1/2 year old son loves that app! Me and my wife both have it on our phones plus on my tablet. He can unlock both of our phones and have the game opened and playing before we even realize he got the phone. Yeah I'd be upset if he broke a phone, but hey that's what we pay asurion for right? Lol

Both of my children (5 and 3) play with my phone and our tablets. The moment I come home I hear, daddy, can I play with your Xoom? Funny thing is both seem to steer clear of my wife's iPhone. They prefer my original Incredible over her iPhone 4. Smart kids if I say so myself...

I have yet to meet a "responsible" kid as young as the one pictured in this article.

And judging from some of these parents answers, their kids my never learn to be responsible….at least not from their parents. God help us all.

Wait until they make you carry an egg around in junior year. Dude, that's, like, totally a crash course in being responsible.

I personally don't allow my 7mos old child to play with my phone because whatever she grabs goes right into her mouth & I am more concerned about all the germs on the phone more than anything else.

Absolutely. They play with my XOOM and Evo 3D. Even my nephews and nieces were playing with them while they were here.

I always give an overly stern talk about taking care of it, wrap it in the case/cover [for the XOOM], and make them sit down. My son [6 years] is really good w/ electronics.

Now, my MacBook Pro? Not a chance. My son yells at any kid getting close to it cuz he knows better and is protective of our future [I'm a dev; laptop = livelihood]. :)

Oh and let me add that my son is 6 but he played with my iPhone regularly when he was 3. Prior to 3 my N95 wasn't full of games or anything so he didn't play with that one.

My two year old son loves to play games on my phone. The only problem we are having now is with in app purchases on some of these games so I got to watch him a little more closely than I use to because of it.

You are wise to keep an eye on him because two year old's don't usually learn to control their credit card spending until around 30 months old.

Easy for a non parent to say no but I let mine use my phone more than my tablet. My tablet is new so I keep a watchful eye. Kids are more technology savvy than we were so I know curiosity takes over.

Of course! I have a few games for toddlers, a lot of Leap Frog & Thomas the Train videos in my Netflix Instant Queue, & some YouTube videos saved in my gallery. It's just a phone & it wouldn't be the end of the world if my son did break it. It is much more important that he know how to navigate technology, anyway.

I let my kids play with everything, most of the time they figure out the stuff better then myself. Firm believer they should be exposed to technology in any capacity, it's their future. No sense in sending them out in the World blind. BB, Android, iPhone, iPad, PlayBook whatever.. my kids can run em all.

I agree, mostly. My 6 year old is adept at getting around my computer and every handheld device I've had. On the other hand, I was a kid once, and I'm paranoid about her getting into things she shouldn't. So I don't mind her figuring out how to use them, but I like to be there to make sure she isn't wandering off into ugly territory. Cause boy does she like to wander.

Oh yeah, always within reason of course.. not like I'm letting them peruse everything at their desire. I just meant in general, I welcome their exploration and provide them with what ever they need.

3 tablets (ipad, gt 10.1 and transformer), 3 android phones and 3 kids. 3 year old thinks the ipad is his. Older kids know the tablets are ours (parents), but usually have them most of the time. And it's usually a fight over playing on our phones, but we try to keep them from touching them. After getting emails at random times from purchases my 3 year old has made, I've put "protector" on all android devices to avoid unwanted apps from being bought. To his credit nearly every app he's purchased has been age appropriate for him. Unfortuately he figured out the ipad password and bought a LOT (damn apple only sends a receipt when they feel like it, not immediately like android). That pass has been changed to something difficult and I don't let him touch if after doing updates (another damn apple thing for the 15 minute window of not needing your password).

I have a 6 year old who's at the point of trying absolutely everything she can get into. As such, I try to keep her away from it as much as possible. I let her use my Galaxy Tab occasionally to draw on, or play games. But as I learned with my Palm Pre, she has a knack for sending random gibberish emails, texting people, or just wandering off with it and taking (suprisingly good quality) pictures of random stuff.

So yes and no. Being that I have work email on my tablet, among other things, I don't let her use it unless I'm paying close attention.

Wow, you are one of the most self-righteous people to own a smartphone. Please, tell us where we can pickup your parenting guide in the tech generation?

I let my kids inherit my phones as I move up to new ones. Right now the 13yo has my old Fascinate. The 9yo claims the palm pre.

This is what I do. I'm in I.T. so I have exposed my son to technology from early on. He's 9 now and I have him running Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Win XP, Win 7 on a few different laptops that he plays with. All of my old phones I tend to prep for him. Currently old iphone3G is his ipod touch, really what they were anyway :-P I watch over him, they have cases and he knows how to care for them. Better to expose him than not, but in a supervised manner, IMHO.

My iPad my kids have taken as their own, my android phone they aren't allowed to touch and my Playbook they have used very, very occasionally so I'm not sure how to vote.

My 2-year old like to play or watch either parent play "oiseau" (Angry Birds), has games we downloaded specifically for her on both our android devices, can start youtube by herself but hasn't broken anything yet. We try to get her to use apps that have some parental lock included but they don't all have one so our main worry is really that she'll dial 999 by accident really...

We all take turns and try not to let her watch too much youtube, though it's a good soporific if we need her to be quiet for a while

My 4yr old son and I watch youtube videos, with my TF tablet, in the evening before reading a book and putting him to bed. Each night we pick something new that he hasn’t seen (from elephants in the wild, to old shuttle launches.) Occasionally my 20 month old daughter sits and watches too before being put to bed.

Sometimes we play the math games before bedtime too.

We do not allow them to play with either the phone or the tablet by themselves though. The kids know that they are not toys to be played with.


Probably shouldn't but its I think good for them to know there way around the future technology since they wont have book bags they'll have tablets

My 2 year old son is an Angry Birds freak. He first saw me play it on my Palm Pre, and since then he'll play it once in a while on my Optimus. He can beat many of the levels as well. I have a Samsung Transform that I use as a spare and he usually plays quite a few games/youtube etc.. Its nuts that he knows how to use the entire UI, but hey just like I've had my own Genesis when I turned 5, kids nowadays want the touchscreens. It doesn't matter what phone/tablet it is. There is also an App for Android called Monkey Preschool which is great, my son learned much of the alphabet from it. I suggest some of the other parents to give it a try.

Anytime I get a new update or ROM I let my 1.5 year old play with my phone for testing.

I am amazed sometimes when I get my phone back and I see something on my phone that I have never seen before.

I need to post screenshots on the forums of my phone after my daughter plays with it and see if someone can recreate it. I know I couldn't do it.

Yes, my 5 year old son uses mine and my wife's phones.
We just got him a nook color, rooted it, and loaded it with kids books and apps. He loves it. Technology is an excellent teaching tool.
As for Mike is Mike is, please go elsewhere. You obviously are not a parent nor a mature adult. Please let the actual parents with experience in child rearing discuss this.
It's a piece of electronics, it can be replaced, who cares. Your comments about whether or not parents on here are responsible are unwarranted and from an inexperienced point of view.
In other words, shut up.

He kind of comes off a little strong, but he's intitled to his opinion. Stop telling people to leave.

Personally, I tend to agree with some of his comments. The attitude that, "It's only a phone, it can be replaced" isn't going to help young kids in the long run.


My 20 month old daughter LOVES Tom the Cat... so I let her play with my old Samsung Transform. She is allowed to use Kid Mode my EVO 3D, but only If I'm around to watch her.

This is a situation where my wife and I simply agree to disagree. She sees no problem in letting our 8 year old play with her EVO. I, on the other hand, say there is no way an 8 year old child needs to use something that would cost $500 to replace.

You people who let your kids play with your $500 phones and $500-$800 tablets are stupid. All the toys in the world designed for kids of all ages, and you let them play with a device that costs more than an average laptop? I guess if you have all the money in the world to blow, more power to you, but children don't touch my electronics. If I had any, I would buy them Gameboys because that actually makes sense.

Or maybe all parents should just own Casio G'zOne phones so they last a little longer. It pains me that we live in a world where people are comfortable with letting children destroy expensive, cutting-edge devices. Maybe I should let my dogs play with my phone. I'm sure it would amuse them to chew on it and carry it around.

Obviously your not a parent. My 2 1/2 year old son plays an app called kid mode on my thunderbolt, my wife's droid x, and my archos 101 tablet all the time. He also knows he has to be sitting down to play on them. The kid mode app is actually a good teaching tool because when you register you put your child's date of birth in and it brings up games and videos that are age appropriate.

Also that is what insurance is for. In fact me and my wife are harder on our phones than our son. He has never damaged any phone whereas we've both had to file insurance claims before.

Sounds like you could learn a thing or two from your two year old - how sad is THAT?

Another thing, YOU guys are why insurance is so high for the rest of us.

You mean that YOU could learn a thing or two from my son because obviously your the idiot. My son knows more than a lot of kids in kindergarten and I know this for a fact because my wife teaches kindergarten and has had kids that are behind the learning curve and probably because they have parents like you.

And as far as the insurance goes a) we've each had 1 claim in over 4 years b) that's what insurance is for and c) if you think $7-$8 a month is a lot for insurance then maybe you shouldn't buy an expensive phone.

No, I meant what I said.

I don't need insurance for my cell phones. I've had them for 20+ years years and never broke or lost any of them.

As far as for the rest of what you said, this the internet - you can claim anything you like.

Mike_is_Mike_is, I do not understand your hardcore stance. Why is it your place to call people names or categorize their children based on a decision made about the use or non-use of an electronic device. Most every response to this thread has been focused on the question, "Do you...." and the responses have been, "I do or do not". Then, you swing in with your generalizations, which make your arguments weak and meaningless.

Each parent has the right to make decisions about what their children have access to and how they use certain tools/technology. Whether a child uses a smartphone or a tablet, with or without adult supervision will likely not lead to a dismal outcome.

Sometimes, the best parents are those who pick their battles and decide what is worth an argument and what is not. Therefore, when we really do have a battle to fight or we really need to say no, the child takes us a bit more seriously.

Ah, the predictable and tired reply "you're obviously not a parent". Never saw that one coming. No, some of us choose not to contribute to the population problem facing the planet. And not everyone suffers from the "I must get married and have kids" mentality that seems to grip most of the sheeple.

And yes, you're right. That is what insurance is for. That's also why insurance costs so much. Perhaps I should go out and drag race my car or take it off some sweet jumps because that's what insurance is for. Or, by your logic, I should reproduce and then let my toddler drive my car, since it's insured.

Really? Calling people stupid for letting THEIR KIDS play with THEIR ELECTRONICS only makes you look like an idiot. It doesn't affect you in the slightest. You don't even HAVE kids, so why do you have an opinion anyway unless you are just trolling?

"It pains me that we live in a world where people are comfortable with letting children..."
^^ are a bit of a drama queen there, aren't you?^^

Please do some research online and see if you can find the definition of "drama queen". Feel free to use Urban Dictionary, because even that site seems to have a better idea of what it means than you do.

Wow.... Why all the hate for those that choose to let their kids play with their phone...

This world is tech driven they need to start being immersed at a young age. Those that do bear the consequences if something happens. Why are the rest of you so worried about it?

Geez.... Some of the kids in here need their smartphones taken away for acting like 3yo's.

To answer your question. Because irresponsible parents raise irresponsible future citizens, who become irresponsible parents……that's why we have flash mobs these days. :)

Couple other points:
1. A one year old chewing on a smartphone is not "immersing" that kid into a tech driven world.

2. I don't know about you, but there were no PC's, Mac's or smart phones or tablets when I was growing up. All the "tech" I was "immersed" in is no longer around……whatever tech these 1,2&3 year olds are sticking in their mouths today won't be around when they get to high school -- they might just as well be chewing on a block of wood.

You're so right. People are dumb. Letting kids learn stuff. Kids should stick to things like message boards and Rockstar cola!

That is so wrong.... That means they would have to learn the computer... And those are more expensive than most phones.

And I disagree that letting your kid play with your phone is irresponsible.

1. I hardly think the pic matches the true intent of the poll question. There also does need to be adequate supervision when they have said phone. The pic was the obvious extreme.

2. I started on a Commodore64 and that was the building blocks of what I do today. Yes today's smartphones may be completely obsolete in 15 years but it is a good foundation to start with.

The picture set the tone for the poll, whether you choose to believe it or not.

I could be wrong, but I doubt you were 1-3 years old when you started on a Commodore. But if you were, then I do believe you were using it along with your (and as) building blocks.

I'd like to solve the it, Mike is a dick? Mike is a pious douche? Mike is out of touch? Mike is Mike is not able to separate a cute pic of a child with the substance of the poll?

I'd like to solve the it, Mike is a dick? Mike is a pious douche? Mike is out of touch? Mike is Mike is not able to separate a cute pic of a child with the substance of the poll?

That picture did nothing for me other than caused me to smile. If my infant is chewing on my phone, I immediately take it away and provide another means of oral fixation.

I have been around long enough to know, a picture placed within an article can have little to nothing to do with the article. The same is true for the title of an article. What set the tone for me were the words that were used below the picture.

Smartphones are a miracle when it comes to settling a child down in an otherwise difficult place for them to entertain themselves. I've had many doctors visits and dinners at nice resturaunts go much more smoothly because of toddler lock and episodes of "Mickey's club house" on my phone.

Letting my 2 1/2 year old play with my phone does not mean that I give it to him and walk away. It does not make me an irresponsible parent or and irresponsible gadget owner. A child's touch does not instantaneously destroy something nice. (Maybe sticky but not destroyed.) Childern can be taught what to touch and how to play with things. My son had taken apart all of the child safety locks at day care and at home, defeated three safety gates, and escaped his crib by 18 months. I think he's smart enough to learn not to smash the phone that has the games he likes to play on it.

To really irk the protector parents, I also have a 52" HDTV, PS3, HTPC, DirecTv DVR, and Denon receiver all well within reach of my child at home and they're just fine.

i am not going to be a parent for quite a while. but let me say this. why not? you buy them something like the nintendo wii which was when it started being sold around $250. i know parents of an 11 year old girl who bought her the iphone 3GS when it became $100. sure there is the monthly bill but you can get it to as low as $25 a month, that being if you really want to spend that on your child. but it would come in handy in-case your child becomes lost ensuring their safety and knowing where they are, might potently become a life saver for many parents. and really there is literally an ocean (really vast)amount of ways to set extensive amounts of parental controls. allowing you to eventually unlock some of them when your child becomes more responsible. hey why not teach them responsibility in a way they can feel proud about it? also insurance for me only costs $5 a month extra to my plan but it really does vary on which carrier you have.

point being why buy all this extra stuff for them that they will stop using in a short amount of time when you can buy them a relatively cheap smartphone on contract for probably allot less then many of those toys they beg you for each year and for a change have it receive updates over time so it keeps them more happy for a longer period. overall i think this would be a great to try with any kid over the age of 10. yeah i would not dare try this with a 5 year old child that's asking way to much but sadly i know there are people who do it :/

Wow some people just don't understand. I'm gonna throw this out there to really freak some people out. Not only does my son play on mine and my wife's smartphones, but I also bought him a gun for his 1st birthday! And I'm talking about an actual gun as in a youth .22. Now before anyone attempts to turn me in, the gun stays locked up with my other guns and even though he is almost 3 now I still haven't allowed him to shoot it. Once he is 5 or 6 and he can grasp the concept of treating guns with respect I will take him out and allow him to shoot it under close supervision.

I tell this story because no matter what the object is (whether It's a smartphone, or gun, or anything else) if you work with your child and teach them to treat things with respect then there shouldn't be an issue with allowing them to use these things.

Now let's see how many "your not a fit parent" replies I get........

I'll sing it loud and proud!

Still trying to talk the wife into letting me take our boy deer hunting this fall, but she thinks I need to hold off a few more years lol.

i agree with everything you said. parents can buy an object that takes great responsibility to use and use it as a tool for them to develop disciplinary skills early in life. i have something to add. one of the reasons kids today are so rebelling and talking back to the older generation is because they are being infected by the unknowable minds of kids in their own age group. you can count me as an exception. i am 15, and yeah your probably asking yourself why in the world is a kid of his age saying stuff personal like that on an internet. because i know better than most of my perverse generation. i would never put my phone number or area code or city in fact because there are people out there in this cruel world who harm children. why do i call my generation perverse? well mainly because im a visual thinker
(yes i have aspergers disorder) i relate to adults like you better than kids of my own age mostly out to screw themselves over by doing dirty things like stealing and joining gangs. i decided for myself i like the 1980's generation better than this one. Ronald Reagan was the best IMO.
but the lesson here is to have your kids make some friends with adults who can teach them to lead by example for there generation.
now if you excuse me i think my atrix finished charging ;)

Guns are great....and a gun bought for your son or daughter TODAY will still be an effective and useful tool decades to come - unlike the tablets and smartphones your kids are chewing on now.

Yes my 3 year old does use/play with my D2 and my wife's Iphone. But only when supervised of course. She can play a mean game of angry birds. She knows how to navigate each OS very well.

Yes/No doesn't quite cut it for me on this one.

And it's a contentious issue in our house. I say no, even when I had a POS windows 6 phone I didn't let my daughter play with it. But my wife has been letting her play with her HTC Hero and now she thinks all phones are playthings. It's become impossible for me to answer the phone in her presence because as soon as I pull it out she wants to play with it.

She's even tried reaching into my pocket to get to my phone when she sees me put it in there. If we had both followed the supposedly agreed on "phones are not toys" rule I suspect this would not be nearly as bad as it is.

Of course this is a 15 month old girl who's apparently already obsessed with phones. She uses anything she can get her hands on as a phone to babble into. Socks, stuffed animals, toys, anything big enough she can hold it to the side of her head. (Side note: what amazed me was that even though she's never seen a dial phone or a corded phone when she got the classic pull toy telephone she instantly recognized it for what it was.)

We also have a nook color and she is allowed to play with kids books on it (usually from the market since they seem more interactive and cheaper than the B&N offerings.) But only when an adult is holding the nook and it's not laying on the ground so she can't crawl across it. The phones may be insured but the nook isn't!

maybe you can buy her one of those Samsung android players once they come out and become way cheaper. i personally think leapfrog stuff is junk. children are way to smart now days to actually benefit from a cheaply made vocabulary learning tool. plus you can go beyond and above the call of duty when it comes to education on android. there is simply so many good educational apps out on the android market right now. yeah how ironic education that is entertaining and enjoyable for young children


My phone is not a children's toy. My kids aren't babies, but if they were, they wouldn't be playing with my phone and I don't get parents who allow your kids to play with your phone. It's just a matter of time before they launch it across the room at the wall and destroy it. I can't imagine why any sane adult wouldn't think that would happen. I have a co-worker who was actually surprised when her baby daughter did this. Kids break their own toys. Why do you think they won't break your phone. To each his own. No one gets to touch my phone, much less my kids. Not going to happen.

Well..I don't have any kids for now...
But I'll let my baby nephew play with my phones. As long he doesn't drop it or throw it away :)

Exactly. No one gets to touch my phone. Same with my computers as well as my car and all of my tech (and vehicle) works just fine with no problems while everyone around me has the strangest technical problems that I never have.

I love when somebody with fully grown children compares his choices with that of current age families. Sure you never let your kids play the the cell phone... Wait... They're were no cell phones... Did you let them play with the car keys..? Were you worried about them driving your car?

Hmmm.... car keys 15¢ Thunderbolt, $600.

And yes, we never let them play in the car - with or without the car keys.

As far as current age families....that would be my "kids" and my grandkids.

I voted heck no", but my 3 year old does play games on my Droid X. But only with me holding the device .. NEVER alone

Yes, my 7 and 2.5 year old can use my DX2 while were out but while we're home - APPLE iPod/iPad for them. The absolute rule in my home: NO ONE TOUCHES MOMMY'S XOOM!. LOL!!

Not unless I'm right there...and when I say right there I mean RIGHT THERE. Under supervision. But I dont allow it too often. I prefer more stimulating tasks. Technology breeds dependency. I'm guilty of it. I try to encourage more traditional games and ways of entertainment more than I allow my cell phone or iPad.

I don't let other adults touch my smartphone let alone kids! Ewwww, keep your nasty finger grease off my phone! It's why my Thunderbolt looks as pristine now as it did out of the box over four months ago! When it comes to high end electronic devices, I don't play around, period! =)

My DX still looks like it came right out of the box thanks to my shell and screen protector. I have always been protective of my devices. My Original Blackberry Storm that is now going on 4 years old still looks brand new. Kids do clean up, anyone who lets their kids get all nasty and sticky should keep them far away from mobile devices.

Absolutely! My three year old loves my new Tab 10.1, and he handles it like it's the egg of a Bald Eagle. I trust him with it completely, and know that if he damages it (like a drop), it would be as accidental as if I did it. Besides, if he does break it, I'll just go buy another. Now, the whole sucking on the phone thing... I don't think so.

My 3 sons, ages 6, 4 and 2, will sit around the table and take turns with my phone, my wife's phone and my iPad. It is great to watch them solve little puzzles and try new things. This has been the norm for a year and not a single scratch or dropped phone/tablet. I'll hover while they play and make sure they know to keep it on the table. They also can work the Harmony remote, play simple PS3 games and use the internet to play games.

The answer is NO!!!

Yes I have children, I just don't think certain things should be played with,,,my Evo being 1 of those things. Manufacturers make enough tech savvy items for young children so they don't have to play with my stuff. I have friends that let their kids play with their phones & tablets & to each his own but don't look at me crazy when your child is crying because I won't give up my phone. You do things your way & I'll do things my way!!!

Let them play with an old flip-phone or, if they're lucky, that old Palm Pilot or Palm Treo that's collecting dust, heck, you can play games on there. Yeah they're crude, but they're kids--they shouldn't have the luxury of whining about something like that, and if they do, be a parent and put their sense of entitlement in its place.

No chance in HELL my child gets to touch my phone--or my computer, MP3 player, camera or car keys. I don't want any of those broken or lost, I like to do things on my computer without my child invading my personal space as if what I'm doing at the PC is any of their business (they have plenty they can learn other ways, like reading a book or practicing with Lincoln Logs) or risk damaging my hard drive with 8+ years worth of pictures loaded on there. When I want to use my MP3 player for working out, I get antsy if it takes me more than 3 seconds to find it, so leave it alone--play with your musical dolls and firetrucks. I don't care to have to look long & hard to find my car keys either, nor risk them getting locked in there & my having to break a window because they have the keys. I use my phone all of the time, and have no desire to have to hunt it down because one of my kids has it, or have them throw a fit because I interrupted their precious Dora game.

Even if there are no safety issues, it's called RESPECT FOR PROPERTY. How are they going to learn if it I'm too worried about their happiness to make them mind me & leave their hands off of MY stuff--and yes, as the adult, it is MY STUFF, all of it. Besides, with seemingly 80,000 toys cluttering the house (until I make them pick said toys up or else I dispose of them on the spot--and yes, I have and will do exactly that), where do they get off thinking that my 1 toy is that compelling that they HAVE to be able to play with it? Not a chance, go play with your Lego's and TinkerToys.

I don't mean to sound like Mike_Is_Mike_Is and be offensive, but I do agree somewhat--what is with parents nowadays who are so into wanting to not hurt junior's feelings that they can't say "no" and back it up? And enough with the whole "they need it to entertain themselves while waiting in the waiting room." Ever hear of a Nintendo Game Boy, or a book (depending on their age)? Heck, what about just being a parent--as in, telling them basically "sit down & shut up or else," like "James Evans" from "Good Times" would've done? I once gave it to my son when he was barely 18 months old because he was whining in an Arby's for no good reason--10 seconds with me in the men's room was all it took to convince him that he'd better shut his pie-hole RIGHT NOW if he wanted to see the age of 2. Both happened, **with no abuse**, but with "goofy daddy" (which I am 95% of the time) morphing immediately into "mean daddy" and letting it be known who's in charge around here.

Who IS in charge, anyway? In our home, no question--the ADULTS are, as it should be.


I love the James Evans These same happy go lucky parents will be the ones doing a Florida Evans when their phones/gadgets are broken...."DAMN DAMN DAMN".

But, I will say, that I do let my 12yr old play Angy Birds on my EVO 3D, but I don't let my 4yr old nephew even look at my phone/mac book. I wholeheartedly believe it depends on a kids maturity level.

Perhaps your son was whining in Arby's because he saw his future flash before his eyes and was disgusted by the dismal prospects of his future nutritional intake.

But yeah, keep your focus on what is yours and what is his. Keep those Lincoln Logs out and available. You just stay right there in the 70s that should benefit everyone!

Oh and there are books on the Ipad and phones. Good old Dr. Seuss and others. So, I get to carry 2 devices with 20 books in each. Oh how my life sucks and my poor kids have it so bad.

No way.
Phones / tablets ruin games like monopoly.
A time-honored tradition of greed and treachery.
Things kids of today are missing.

But on a serious note..
Tech of today, along with monitoring and moderation, can only help kids understand how to better utilize these tools to make their lives "better"
"Better" being my opinion
But, with knowledge comes power. And, technology will be in the there is that aspect

Proof on how important technology is in today's world. My wife is a kindergarten teacher and her school is buying every teacher half a dozen iPads just for use in the classroom as a teaching tool.

My 2 year old loves talking on my Fascinate (occasionally she tries to buy apps from the market...) and reading the OceanHouse books on my Nook Color. So far she hasn't tried to eat either or use them as anything other than what they are designed for.

She hasn't figured out tho that the picture of the caller on the phone doesn't mean the person can actually see out of the phone screen, so she likes to point the screen towards whatever she's doing to "show" the person she's talking to. Guess the next phone needs a FFC :D

There is one way--and, I dare say, ONLY ONE WAY--for a parent to let their children play with the phones etc without being a wuss of a parent that lets your child have the run of everything & own the house YOU'RE supposed to be the one running. It will let them learn how to work the things while simultaneously preserving the integrity of what's yours--which, I dare say, is MORE important than their learning how to work them (as if schools can't teach them on THEIR devices which are MADE for that purpose), yet it will also teach them a sense of responsibility and how to take care of things offered to them or else do without.

To wit: give them a lesser device of their own that they have to maintain in terms of charging it, not breaking it or losing it, and always having it with them when they need it. If you have, say, a Samsung Galaxy S II, give them the old Galaxy S, or an LG Ally, something like that. If you have a Motorola Triumph, give them a Samsung Intercept. If it's a tablet--you have a Motorola Xoom or Samsung Galaxy Tab, they have one of those $100 resistive-touch screens (like a Coby Kyros).

You set it up initially in terms of "rooting" it if need be, updating the OS, installing the games, and showing them how to charge it etc. From there, it's all on them. They have to keep up with it, they have to remember to charge it so the batteries don't run down, don't leave it somewhere and lose it or drop it, etc. If they do, they're out of luck and all the whining in the world isn't going to get them permission to use your device.

Then when the 2 of you, say, are going to the doctor & will be waiting in the waiting room awhile, give them a reminder in advance "don't forget your Android tablet." From there it's on them--if they forget it but you don't forget yours, oh well--tough.

Of course they are going to probably want "yours" anyway a lot of the time even if they have their own--****TOUGH****.

If they aren't old enough to do any of this, they aren't old enough to have own, or to touch yours either. They can wait until they're older, it isn't going to kill them or make them fall behind in the "race to keep up with their peers" & all of that psychobabble they try & tell you nowadays. They're not going to grow up to be dumber than Forrest Gump because you waited awhile until they were old enough.

I did this very thing with my nephews who were always wanting to borrow my camera. I got them their own cameras for Christmas & showed them how to use them. They were giddy-happy that day. Naturally within a month, they had broken them in various ways. When they came wanting to use my camera, my reply: "where's the one I gave you for Christmas?" When the usual excuses were offered, my reply: "well that's too bad, I guess you're out of luck aren't you?"

THAT, my friends, is how you do it if you really think they need one of those things. Any other way is just wussy parenting that's letting the kids run the household.

i have to say, i have a 3 years old son and i DONT let him play with my phone! Than my Girlfriend has a 6 year old daughter, she is allowed to play one or two games on my phone. But only sometimes AND if she is sitting or lying anywhere where the phone could not break if it falls.
Because, its to expensive! no i would never raise my hand IF it break, BUT it dont has to!

second thing is: i thing, children in that age, dont need an own Tablet or PC!! The 6 yr old daughter of my GF has a NDS, thats enuough i think! My son has no electronic gaming stuff and isn't allowed to watch TV to long.
Children in that age have to go outside and play with their friends!

Giving them such stuff (which make them really fast addicted to it!) make them like "i dont wanne go outside!" and all they want is to play this stuff! "our" daughter sometimes cant look up of her NDS and is running against a wall! If had to say as much as my GF to her, i would take the DS out of her for a while. Because she is to addicted to that stuff. same is the TV.

Electronics is good for kids, BUT at a good age AND in little doses!
Giving kids an own PC, laptop, tablet or phone in ages like 3-8 is to much i think!

thats my opinion!

I guess I'm in the minority here, I don't have kids, but if I did they aren't playing with my smartphone, it's just too expensive of an item and plus you're not setting boundaries. My friends thought it was cute to let their 2 year old son play with their cellphones and throw them down the basement steps or down the laundry chute until at a party at another friends house he went into a stranger's purse got their smartphone out and threw it down the basement steps, fortunately the phone wasn't broke. Part of this was because they didn't set any boundaries; he never asked to play with their cellphone and he would just get into his mom's purse and play with the phone and usually nothing was said unless they had to make or take a call.

@Mike most people don't pay full price for cellphones because they either get them free with a 2 year plan or they pay very little for them, but I imagine if they did pay full price for a phone they probably would think twice or maybe they don't care because they have a lot of money. It's their money and their smartphone but it's not happening with my smartphone.

I have a Motorola ATRIX 2 and this phone was very expensive but my sons happiness means alot more to me than this phone. I've talked to them about how to handle moms phone. They know and I trust them.

It helps alot too while in the grocery store to keep them occupied. Phones are jst materials... but they help in tough situations to keeps tha kids occupied while in public

Our kids are 7 to 10. They use our inactive phones (free service thru WiFi ) to watch singers, stupid stuff and play games,take pictures and videos.. They love that it can be held in one hand while walking around. A phone-size tablet would be just the thing for anyone who wants portability without the price. Here we have just the right size for what? Hundreds of dollars Just to talk to someone? Ridiculous! Btw, someone implied the tablet wasn't really needed and may be on it's way out, but I use my kindle to pay all my bills and hardly ever need to use the pc. Just sayin :)

First off now a day's parents don't stay on top of their children like they used to I'm also a mother of a soon to be three year old and she has games on my tablet that she plays and she does get ahold of my phone but she listens when I tell her to put it back. It's not about try and stop them or anything else like that, if you let your child get away with anything just because they throw a tantrum it's not just about them playing with a couple hundred dollar phone, tablet, now falls more to just giving into your child tantrums, fits, or whatever so you can either go about what you're doing or just not have to deal with them. If you don't want them to play with your expensive merchandises then put them up, get on the floor on their level, and play with him/her. Teach them, show them attention, and love. I'm just as much as guilty as the next but like I said before it is not like it used to be you can't just relax 5 minutes anymore for having to either get to work, having company, cleaning your house, organizing, ect. the fact is if you have those couple of minutes to get on your phone or your tablet then you also have those minutes to give to your child. They see mommy/daddy on it they are gonna want to do the same:) Many people need to practice what they preach including myself because electronics shouldn't be a distraction for you children even though some apps and shows provide learning and development benefits but so can you and with you also comes with love and nurturing which goes a long way for a child's development in my opinion. And everyone has a right to their own, my answer is yes I have allowed my child access to my electronics that I couldn't afford to replace.