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Screen Saver

Screen Saver
June 2013

It started. My son's favorite activities include computer time, playing the Wii and navigating his way through an iPod touch.

Staring at screens.

If we let him, he would bounce back and forth, from screen to screen, all day long.

We started a list of things he needs to do before he's allowed screen time. It's great incentive to get our extrinsically motivated three-year-old boy to get dressed, pick up his dirty clothes, clean up his room and park his Hot Wheels.

The good part about this is, I don't mind if he's doing any of these "screen time" activities. In fact, I think it's really good for him. We spend plenty of time together forming intricate wooden train tracks, ramping Hot Wheels over assorted baby doll parts, serving up five-course meals made of Play-Doh and building entire towns in the sandbox. Honestly, there are times during the day when I want or need to be detached from him. When I want to move over a load of laundry or when I'm trying to get dinner started, it's much easier to do this without him in the background telling me how bored he is. I'm already trying to do these things while keeping his little sister from dumping flour on the floor, squeezing a loaf of bread with all her might, swimming in the toilet and walking up and down the stairs with a blanket covering her face.

The games he plays on the PBS website are really cool. I think he may even accidentally learn something from these games too. He's always doing different counting and spelling activities that are disguised as games. There are so many interesting apps on the iPod. Some of them have helped him form letters, and others (that we will soon be checking out) teach kids how to read.

I say embrace technology. Bring on the screen time!

Happy parenting!


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