This year, I hear the voices of my children and their friends whispering about what they’re asking Santa for. Topping the list? For every toy and game, children appear to be interested in tech gear, including laptop computers and the ever popular iPod Touch. As you sit down to make your recommendations for Santa Claus, you may be wondering if your child is old enough for an iTouch.
How responsible is your child?
Though not as expensive as an iPad and without the monthly bill of an iPhone, the iPod Touch is still a pricey Christmas gift for a young child. Before you purchase it, think about how responsible your child has been with other items-are they regularly losing their homework, misplacing their lunch money, or coming home without their backpack? For older children, are they able to keep track of their cell phone, if they have one? With any expensive Christmas gift, you want to make sure your child can be responsible for it.
Why does your child want the iPod Touch?
If your child is genuinely interested in the games, activities, and in listening to music on their iTouch, it could be a good investment. It’s portable, versatile, and well-made. However, if your child simply wants it because a friend has it or is asking for it, think twice before spending the money. The novelty will soon wear off, and you want to spend the money on something your child really wants and will use.
What’s your child’s reading level?
Though your child won’t need to be able to read a novel in order to use the iTouch, it is helpful with even the most basic applications. A child who is still learning the alphabet won’t be able to get as much use out of the iPod Touch as a child who is already reading. Similarly, think about the time this device will take away from genuine book reading-can your child afford to lose that time?
Will your children have to share?
If you have three children and they all want an iPod Touch for Christmas, you might need to think about how well the kids will be able to share an item like this. How well do they share generally? Something small and handheld can be more difficult to share than a desktop computer, for instance, where mom and dad are able to monitor screen time more readily.
Ultimately, the decision to purchase an iPod Touch for your child this Christmas season, or to let them ask Santa, is a personal one. Think about your child as an individual before making the final call.