Before iPhone it was worse for kids! As a kid I spent week days standing in the bank line, standing in the Medicare or medibank line, standing in the insurance line, doing the huge weekly shop etc all the while expected to behave and be good. Remember lines in those places back then? Or tugging at mums pants while she sat at the phone organising work or being dragged into her work to sort out small things. NOW my kids play for hours at parks and have babycinos while I do all if that online. I don't even need to do grocery shopping. I get a lot more free time as a mum with an iPhone than my mum did back then. By the time we would get home exhausted from all the things we had to get done no way was mum playing with us, and we didn't want her to! I do think validating important feelings are good but my children can play without needing an adult constantly telling them how beautiful each twirl is and wonderful every scoop of sand they are picking up is. I think being too involved hinders imagination and free play and I'm actually against it.