Screen Junkie

March 6, 2013 at 10:26 pm

So I’m a little embarrassed to admit that my son has a problem… Hi. My name is Vanessa and my son is a screen junkie. He is utterly obsessed with anything TV or iPod. At first, I started out letting him watch a show while I got dressed in the morning and when I was cooking dinner in the evening. It was the ONLY thing that kept him from driving me crazy or tearing the house apart. Then we’d let him watch the videos of himself on our iPhone’s (supervised, of course). He was always asking to “SEE BABY, SEE BABY!” It was cute. Then, when I got an iPad, there were a slew of kid friendly apps/games that were great for keeping him busy at restaurants and what not.

He’s figured out how to use Photo Booth and I get pictures like this: IMG_0132

And then he got his own iPod… and here’s where I’ll fully admit to taking advantage of his obsession. If he crawled into bed with us too early for me to desire getting up and starting the day, I’d turn on his crack pipe er, iPod and let him futz around with it for a while. Or at least until I was able to crack my eyelids and face the day. This convenience has blossomed into a full-fledged addiction, and I think it’s time to draw a line in the sand.

Also, the long winter days cooped up inside is a little bit to blame here. It’s too cold/wet to go outside and he loses interest in his other toys so quickly. Plus, it’s easier for me to play a drawing game with him on the iPad than it is to clean up after a real painting session. Lazy? Yes. But at least I’m honest with myself.

Here’s an example of what I get bombarded with: I was trying to get him to be in a video… he complies for 1/2 a second and then instantly wants to see said video—sometimes before I’ve even filmed anything! I think at least 50% of my videos of him end this way.

So I’ve stopped blatantly using my iPhone or iPad around him (except when I’m taking cute movies—in which case, I let him watch the video a few times and put it away). And that seems to help a bit. TV is reserved for getting dressed and making dinner. I’ve tried getting him involved in the dinner process, but he’s just too grabby and I’m afraid of accidentally chopping his fingers off. Maybe in another year he’ll actually be able to get involved and not pose a threat to himself or me. Plus, he’s constantly throwing a barrage of other requests at me while I cook. Can I have a banana? Some juice? Can I watch a little TV? I can hardly get anything done.

Also, we’re doing more real activities like painting, play-doh, flash cards, and going outside. I just keep telling him that the iPod needs to rest a while because it’s tired. It seems to work, but I still get slammed with at least 50 requests a day to play a game or see baby. Hoping that tapers off a bit because he’s at the stage of repeating everything 100 times. As if the repetition helps him get the message across. It’s enough to make your ears bleed. I’m staying strong though, and he’s not showing signs of withdrawal, so that’s good. :)

Anybody have advice for me and my little screen junkie??