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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : August 05, 2011

New study reveals toddlers toying with technology

The children of Generation Y moms are being introduced to technology much earlier in life than those born of Generation X moms, found new research from Parenting Group. How young, you ask? Try 2 years of age.

by Helen Leggatt

Moms and their children engage with a broad range of technology daily, and it's not surprising that children are using devices such as laptops, mobile and smartphones at an earlier age.

An annual survey from Parenting Group, the publisher of Parenting, Babytalk and, and the BlogHer network, reported by AdAgeStat, has revealed that children as young as 2 years old have used their parents' device.

Children of Gen Y parents are more likely to start using technology younger than those of Gen X parents, found the study. While 29% of Gen X moms allow their 2 years olds to use their laptop, that rises to 34% among Gen Y moms. Similarly, 33% of Gen Y moms had allowed their children to use their smartphone by age 2 compared with just 20% of Gen X moms.

Thankfully the age deemed appropriate for owning a device is a lot higher. Gaming devices were deemed appropriate to be owned at 7 years of age while kids will have to be content playing with mommy's smartphone until they're in their mid-teens.

At the end of the day kids like to play around with their parents' gadgets but what they'd really miss if it were not available is television. When asked what one device their child would want access to if stuck on a desert island 20% of moms said television, followed by laptop (16%) and video games (15%). Nealry half (43%) of moms, when asked the same question, cited their laptop; just 4% said they would prefer to take no technology or media device with them.

New stats released this week by UK regulator Ofcom reveal just under half of British children, aged between 12 and 15, now own a smartphone and many admit to high levels of addiction to their devices.

Tags: Gen X, Gen Y, mom demographics, parenting, smartphone use, technology, toddlers

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