Life update! I feel like Zoe has hit the terrible two’s early. She’s still the funniest, craziest, happiest, talkative, little bundle of joy ever, but homegirl has got a sassy side. Welcome those throwing, hitting, kicking, rolling on the floor screaming tantrums. Luckily nothing out in public (like the grocery store) just yet, but man those toddler tantrums are real! So much of her tantrums come from her not being able to express herself just yet. Because she’s so independent she wants to be able to do things all on her own and when she can’t she just gets so frustrated with herself. And I don’t blame her, I’m the same way! Another trigger for her tantrums is the phone. As soon as she sees a cellphone she wants to play with it immediately. If we let her she could watch videos of herself alllllll day long! I basically hide my phone until Zoe goes down for her naps or when she goes down for the night. Which brings me to today’s post!
It’s another Let’s Be Honest Mamas post (you can read all about that and how it started here). A big shout out to our girl Hannah for bringing us together! And today we are talking all about technology with little ones. Of course the use of technology with kids is such a personal opinion, so please when you read on know that what I have chosen to do is what works for me and my family! Okay, now that that is out of the way let’s get to it.
1. Do you have an opinion on technology use with kids? Do you worry about being on your phone too much around your babies?
Before I had Zoe I totally thought I’d be one of those mamas that was 100% against them having access to technology until they were at least two. I wanted them to have time to grow their own imagination and not let them sit in front of the TV all day, every day. But once I had Zoe things changed. Of course when she was really little, having the TV on in the background was mostly for me and not for her. Even at 19 months she still won’t sit through a whole movie. It’s mostly songs or singing that she likes to watch. She’ll dance along to Moana, pretend to sing to Trolls. She loves Sesame Street. Living in the PNW means you have to get creative indoors when it rains 9 months out of the year, and technology can definitely come to the rescue when you need it.
As far as phones, Zoe VERY early on had a high interest in my phone. She loves to look at herself, and unlike TV she could sit all day and watch videos of herself (my little vain princess 😂). It doesn’t help that with Snapchat and Instagram stories all I want to do is take videos of her doing the cutest things. But now it’s gotten to the point where I pretty much have to hide my phone. Poor Eric constantly tries to call me but I can’t pick up. At least when it’s out of site it’s out of mind so she doesn’t ask for it. But I’ve had to get creative with my hiding spots because she knows them all. I think this is something I will definitely do differently next time around. Note to self, keep the baby selfies and video taking to a minimum.
2. What age did you or will you allow your kids to play with your phone, iPad, etc.? Do you restrict what they do on it? Will you buy them their own tablet?
Zoe really started going after my phone around her 1 year birthday. After Christmas my parents gave Z an old iPad that they had lying around their house. The iPad is for car use only, and is only used for playing movies for those long excursions. Go to movies are Beauty and The Beast, Sing, Moana, and Trolls. When she wants my cellphone it’s purely to watch videos of yourself, snapchat or Facetime with her favorite auntie. Obviously I want to limit those interactions as much as possible, and I’ll definitely try to hold off longer next time around, ha.
3. At what age did you (or do you plan to) let your kids watch tv and for how much time per day? Certain tv shows/channels?
Like I mentioned previously, Zoe still hasn’t taken much interest in the TV just yet, but I would say she started engaging more around 13 months or so. I typically schedule it to help trigger her for things. She’ll watch a little bit in the morning while she’s eating breakfast. Super Why is her favorite show to watch during lunch. She just loves it and I love that it’s educational. She’ll repeat back sounds that they are making when they are spelling out words. I love timing Sesame Street whenever I have to change her afternoon diaper because for some reason that’s the one she HATES being changed for the most. It’s really weird. And before she goes to bed she loves to watch Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune with us. As far as channels, PBS Kids is where it’s at!
4. What are your/your babe’s favorite tv shows and movies? Are you concerned with the message it teaches and do you restrict any shows in particular?
At this time I’m not too concerned with negative messages that Zoe “watches”. I don’t really restrict what I’m watching if she’s in the room (I pretty much just have The Office, FRIENDS, or Parks and Rec on anyhow). I think restrictions will come around 2 when I know she’s more self aware. Her favorite shows are Super Why, Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Thomas and Friends. At least those are ones that keep her attention for more than 2 minutes. She’s ALWAYS moving.
5. If you do not use iPad/iPhones as entertainment/distractions while out, what types of activities, toys, explanations do you use?
Other things we like to do to keep Zoe occupied are books. We finally bought her one of those “First 100 words” books (not sure why it took us so long), but she loves to point at different objects, especially pictures of monkeys and dogs. She doesn’t talk too much yet, but she understands so much. We’ll say “Zoe, where’s the monkey” and she’ll turn to the page and point to the monkey. Basically she’s a genius, ha! She also loves to read “Quiet Time with Cassatt“. I have that book memorized so she’ll flip the pages and I’ll read out loud the words while I’m driving places. I also recently bought her this Crayola No Mess Markers And Paper Kit that she loves to doodle on. And when all else fails, pull out the Fruit Snacks.