Try as we might not to fall into the technology trap, it’s hard not to at times with so many handy gadgets. Since the time Enzo was a baby he’s been infatuated with our cell phones, but we held off on letting him use ours for a long time. When we did give in, I had a phone that he couldn’t really access anything on easily, so he’d just talk on it and that was it. Then he realized our phones did so much more and he wanted to be able to watch videos of himself non-stop, so he’d commandeer our cell phones and not want to give them up. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to just give him my old phone and remove pretty much everything except for the gallery of photos and videos. Our little narcissist could spend hours watching videos of himself. Ha ha.
More recently I decided to put an app on his phone that teaches the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors. It’s really simple to use and he loves it. I figure since its educational there isn’t that much harm in it. I am aware of the articles out there that warn against the dangers of too much screen time (mostly TV) for young kids, but we do try and keep it to a minimum. We don’t have cable and for a long time even if Enzo wanted to watch a show he would only watch about 5 minutes and then run around – we realized he just liked the noise in the background.
Times are changing, though, and he’s paying more attention to what he watches, which means we also need to be more aware of how often the TV is on. We also discovered that while Enzo never really noticed the TV as a baby, Phoebe is very aware and easily distracted by the magical screen when it’s on. Some mornings we bribe Enzo with Bob the Builder or Thomas when he doesn’t want to get dressed and Phoebe will roll over and look up at the TV or if I position her facing away from it, she’ll look at it upside down or try to scoot so she can see what’s on. It’s pretty funny, but it makes me realize we’ll need to be much more aware this time around so that Phoebe isn’t overexposed.
One thing Josh and I have definitely agreed on is that neither kiddo will have their own TVs in their rooms until they’re much older and tablets and other technology will be something we monitor closely and won’t allow them to use on a regular basis. We appreciate that in this day and age it’s beneficial that they know how to use these items, but it doesn’t mean we want them attached to a screen all the time either. Just another reason that Josh and I have decided we need to put our own phones down in the evenings until after the kids go to bed (minus a quick photo snap here and there). 😉
I think your attitude towards all this and method-of-attack (so to speak) is spot on!!
“Josh and I have decided we need to put our own phones down…” – yeah, that’s definitely the thing. And the hard part. Why are the little people captivated? Because we are.
You certainly wouldn’t think putting the phones down would be so difficult, but it really is… especially when they’re so much more than just phones now. Having kids really gives you a different perspective, though, especially when they copy everything you do.
Love your outlook. Technology is such a hot topic. I can see both sides to it, and at 2.5, H watches it sometime, but before two we really limited it. I’m going to do the best I can to do the same with baby #2.
PS- H is a narcissist, too. She loves videos of herself 😉