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Why Your Toddler Might Be Doing More Than Mindlessly Playing With Your Smartphone

Today in terrifying news about your toddler: Irish researchers surveyed the parents of 82 kids aged one-to-3 and determined that it’s unlikely your kid is just dumbly thumbing away at the home button when they get a hold of your phone. Rather, they can “master” and “interact purposefully” with touch screen technology.

Fifty percent of parents surveyed said their kid can unlock the phone, 91 percent said they can swipe between screens, and 64 percent said they can search the device. That’s … interesting, considering that these kids likely can’t read or even speak in complete sentences yet, which does raise a few questions about the study. Specifically, what percentage of these kids knew what they were doing (beyond just playing with a cool toy), and what percentage of parents were boosting their kid’s tech-savvy smart marks because all parents are liars when it comes to their kids (don’t deny it)?

Smartphone use

If nothing else, the study is further confirmation that smartphones are basically crack to young kids and parents everywhere struggle to keep their kids’ mitts off them. That could actually be good news according to the researchers, because kids are learning sensory development earlier on. But it’s bad news if you suspect ( correctly, it turns out) that tech-enabled toys might not be as effective as old school ones when it comes to your toddler’s development.