Too much excitement just might kill me!
In the last couple of weeks, Monkey has suddenly been bitten by the screen bug. He is now obsessed with watching Play School DVDs and playing with the iPad I got for my birthday. He used to play with Grandma’s iPad whenever she came to visit, but now we’ve got one in the house he wants to play with it all the time.
This is a mixed blessing. At the moment I’ve got some coughing disease so I’m not feeling great (also, post-baby violent coughing fits? not cool). So it is really tempting to let Monkey park on the couch all day while I go die noisily in a corner. But long term I’m not comfortable with all-day screen sessions, despite the wondrous freedom of doing anything without toddler assistance and also knowing that when I come back in two minutes he’s most likely going to be right where I left him.
So what is the balance? He doesn’t really care for toys, but he’ll happily play with the hose for minutes on end. Last week he did some painting outside by himself while I vacuumed! And to some extent I do think that screens can have educational value. Is half an hour of iPad too much? And a couple of episodes of Play School (about 45 minutes) as well? Will the power of the screens diminish with regular exposure and if so, should I limit the iPad to time when I really need it?
I know this will all change as he gets older, and there’s no right answer. I think I’m just so shocked by this sudden dose of (relative) freedom that I’m going a little crazy! Monkey was never going to be screen-free because both Hubs and I are IT people. But if he’s going to do it, I can at least make it as beneficial as possible.
What works for you? How did you find a balance you were comfortable with?