Hoo boy. The phone. We all have a problem with it in today’s society, but especially the toddlers.
When he was a small baby, I never let him touch it. My thinking was more along the lines of not wanting it to be smashed on the floor or drooled on. I don’t remember if my intention was to keep it away from him forever.
Then I started showing him photos of himself, of his grandparents, other family and friends. He quickly learned how to scroll. He started asking for it, calling it “On.” “On?” “ON?!?!”
For a long plane ride, I bought a couple of apps, including Little Fox Music Box (interactive songs and a music studio full of animals) and My First Words, a pop-up book with words, images, sound effects. He loved loved loved them. Next he learned how to scroll to the app and start it up. If he got an error screen he’d bring it to me for help.
After our summer vacation, he became so enamored of looking at photos of his cousin that he started calling the phone by her name. With as much desperation as “On.” He is elated to see the photo and then sits down to open every single app on my phone. I’ve caught him watching Ted talks.
The other day I found him watching his own birth video and feel that I need to draw the line!
I now realize that giving him a little screen time is like giving him a little crack. He’s now mastered “phone???” And asks for it whether or not he can see it. He wakes up and asks for it. Who can blame him? We are all obsessed with it too. I do everything on it: talk to family, take photos, look up recipes, play music, communicate about plans, answer the phone! How can I subtract this out?
Giving it to him ends in a tantrum when I take it away. The other night we watched a little bit of a new Netflix show called Puffin Rock- so freaking adorable. I want to watch it with him. I was using it so I could cut his nails but can definitely see the benefit of TV- he is still and calm. Mind you, I’m not a TV watcher and haven’t had a TV in years- but I’m struggling with this phone/ipad struggle.
I sure wonder if anyone has come up with a solution to this, outside of zero tolerance which just seems unrealistic to me. Meanwhile, I’ll be sneaking phone moments, taking fast pictures, and limiting sessions despite the disappointment. We just can’t overshadow childhood with dumb technology! Time to get outside and play!
But sometimes I’ll say yes because it’s easier. Hey! I’m a solo mom. xo