In the last couple of weeks I’ve been made aware of how often I reach for my iDevice on my days home, while supposedly entertaining Chublet. I have realised how regularly I tune out of the monotony of parenting by using the excuse of connecting with the wider world through my FaceBook, email or Pinterest habit. Chublet has contributed to this increasing realisation, both by telling me to put my phone away, but also by searching out my phone or tablet when she sees me on one or the other. I wish I could say proudly that my daughter doesn’t know how to use an iDevice, but unfortunately the only thing she hasn’t figured out yet is the password to unlock them.
I have decided to tackle both of our addictions in two ways, firstly, our budget is going to take a hit and I’m enrolling Chublet in extra organised activities on our days home. At present she does Ballet on a saturday morning, then follows that by coming to Pilates with me. That’s been it and i’ve been happy with that. But her latest developmental leap has seen her becoming much harder work to entertain and keep occupied on a day at home. She wants me to be with her and doing things, and each activity only lasts about 3 minutes before she turns destructive (painting herself, throwing / eating playdough, stickers everywhere but the paper etc). I figure if we get out of the house to an organised activity that i don’t have to plan or manage that’ll help both of us. The second method is that i’m starting to introduce a screen time timer. It’s something that i’ve been thinking about doing as she gets older to give her greater choice and responsibility with her screen time (a number of 10min tickets allocated each week and once used up all screen time finishes), so starting now, when she sits next to me with a device and as i browse through random stuff on my own device i set the timer for 10min. Once that timer goes off we both put our devices away and go and do something else.
I still get the little eyes with the ‘Just one more?’ attempt, but hopefully leading by example will help her see I mean it, and will help me remember to put the device down and out of easy reach. Who knows, less screen time temptation might just see me be bored enough to get a little more organised…