Here's To A Boring Year

Too much excitement just might kill me!

Hello attention span!

When Monkey woke up from his nap this afternoon, he was in a bit of a weird mood. It wasn’t a great nap – although it was nearly 3 hours long, he woke up twice and needed to nurse to resettle, and he seemed upset when he woke up the last time, as if he still wanted to be asleep.

He wanted to sit on the couch and pat the dogs – he pats the chair and tells them ‘Up!’ just like we do – very cute! But the dogs are only interested for so long. As in, two minutes long.

Since it is very hot and very muggy today, I thought I’d take a look and see if Play School was on television, and see if Monkey was interested.

I never turn the television on during the day – it usually only goes on for brief moments when Monkey is playing with the remote. And previously he has shown next to no interest in watching it in any case – although he has been strangely fascinated by Iggle Piggle on occasion – can someone please explain that show to me??

I’m generally not a fan of little kids watching television, but I totally get the attraction. Monkey has been so full in his whole life I can understand the appeal of being able to sit him on the couch for half an hour and get something done for a change!

But all of a sudden today – holy attention span Batman!

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He sat on my lap on the couch chewing his fingers and watched TV (kids channel) for a full hour! And then I turned it off… But I was kind of tempted to leave it on and see how long he would last! In fact this was so unusual that I took his temperature just to check – but of course it was fine. Hello paranoia!

When did your kids develop a decent attention span? Do you have rules about television shows, screen time etc? Or do you worship the electronic babysitter?

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6 comments on “Hello attention span!

  1. Nicole
    January 7, 2013

    That’s pretty fascinating! I would have been tempted to leave it on and see what would happen, too!
    I don’t specifically remember when they developed decent attention spans, but I’d guess it was around 18 months or so. But it was still selective.
    We do have rules about TV, and they’ve changed over time. We weren’t super strict, not like some people, but TV was still really limited. Under 2, it was sporadic, though son 2 saw more than son 1 just because son 1 was already interested in TV by the time son 2 was around.
    Now that they’re school age, it’s even more limited. We don’t allow any “screen time” on weekdays. On weekends, it’s limited, though how much varies based on our activities and, frankly, how well I am feeling on any given day.

  2. glumbunny
    January 7, 2013

    I know a lot of people have strong feelings about this one… In fact, I guess I do, though only for my OWN children. (Well, okay, I think most college-educated people agree that unlimited TV for young children is not wise, so I have SOME feelings about other peopel’s choices…)

    I’m hoping to make it to four or five before they set eyes on a TV show, computer, or smart phone. We’ll see how that goes. My brother had a policy for his kids that I think is interesting. He would only let them watch things that he was willing to watch too. He didn’t necessarily watch with them every time, but his rule for content was that it had to be good enough that HE could tolerate it. I think I might try that when the time comes. I dunno. I know they need to learn moderation, and I can’t control screen time forever and expect them to do that, and if I see that they’re reading and creating and playing outside and whatever else most of the time, I may not care, but for me, it’s just too attractive and insidious for tiny brains.

    Bun Bun’s attention span is stretching. It used to be 10 minutes, then 15, now she’ll play by herself or “read” to herself for 20 minutes, which is awesome. I’m looking forward to reaching the hour mark…

    My goodness, that boy is adorable!

    • boringyear
      January 8, 2013

      In theory, I would have liked to avoid exposing Monkey to any screens until 4 or 5, but it just doesn’t fly in our house – we’re very tech heavy, since we’re both computer geeks.

      Hubs likes to turn the television on in the evening while I’m cooking, so we haven’t avoided it completely, but as I said I generally never turn it on when its just the two of us. Monkey is still forbidden from touching the phones though since he would inevitably drop them on the floor!

  3. Ashley
    January 9, 2013

    We don’t watch a lot of tv in our house, but Benjamin does have a few shows that he likes. In the mornings while I’m in the shower, getting ready, etc, I let him watch Curious George or Thomas for half an hour. He’s usually playing and doing other things, but it mostly keeps him out of trouble when I’m not right there with him. (I’m a single parent, so there isn’t another person to supervise him then.)
    The other thing I’ve given in to is letting him watch movies in the car, but only on long (3+ hours) trips. It actually was great to discover that a movie could hold his attention in the car, as that made our 10 hour summer trip much easier to do!
    So I’m all in favor of using the electronic babysitter on occasion, but I think the infrequency of it also helps keep the allure alive so that it is helpful when I need it to be.

    • boringyear
      January 9, 2013

      Monkey never travelled well when he was little, and after he screamed for the entirety of a 2 hour car trip at 4 months old, I have been waiting for the day when he will watch a movie in the car. That is a total exemption from normal screen rules IMO although only for long rides – I totally see the benefit! Being strapped into a car for that long is no fun for a kid who doesn’t ever sit still.

  4. chrysta
    July 29, 2013

    my kitty cat watches baby tv.i find it mind numbing but she really enjoys the nursery rhymes and babbling characters she even laughs with some of them its sooo weird.its usually on in the morning when she wakes up,mostly couse i`m not a morning person.i can barely function and kiss goodbye my other half when he goes to work.and by morning i mean 5:30-6 in the morning an she stays up untill 9.so she gets to eat breakfast with the silly cartoons and then we just play with telly noise in the background.she`ll stop and watch her favourites and ignore the rest.then we`re mostly out all day either in the garden or just out and about.and sometimes she gets 20-30 mins in the evenings when its a wind down programme with nursery rhymes only.she sings she dances and she mostly forgets about the pain her 4 theeth coming out at once cause.
    and to ease my conscience the cartoon are child friendly,trying to teach them to count,things around the house,words,colours,animals etc :)))

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This entry was posted on January 7, 2013 by in baby talk, brain fry.
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