I hate to admit it, but I feel like we have fallen into a parenting slump. You see, H has his own iPhone that he plays with on a pretty regular basis, an old iPhone of ours. Before recently I really had no problem with him spending a little while each day playing with it. There are so many great apps for young kids, and he loves to listen to his music and dance around. Problem is, it is no longer acceptable to him to have a ‘time limit’. Suddenly, the ‘touch screen’ is the only thing he cares about. His Christmas toys have been forgotten already. His new playroom? He doesn’t care. He just wants his phone. Not cool, and total parenting FAIL.
What happened? How did we suddenly let it become such a big problem? It became the easy way out, the way to get him to behave, the way to get him to sit quietly for any period of time. We decided to take it away, and that day ended up being a write off. Angry kid – Angry Mom. Not fair on either of us. We thought we would let him use the computer a little, play some online games… but wait – isn’t that going to create the same problem? What are we do to with our tech-loving 3 year old?
Moderation. I have decided that I won’t actually fully take it away, that isn’t fair on him. He is just going to need to use it in moderation. After a morning of no touch-screens, or computers, I found him finally starting to use that wonderful imagination of his. There have been a few times that he has asked for it, but when told no, he quickly went back to playing.
This afternoon once baby brother is down for his nap, and while I am doing a belly cast that is coming to the house, I am going to allow him 20 min of computer time. Hopefully if this is something new we start he will start to expect, and respect, these new boundaries.
Do you have a child who is techy? Do they have an iPad touch, leap-pad, or are they a frequent computer user? What do you do to moderate their play time?