*This blog post is excerpted from an article I originally wrote for Grok Nation. You can find the full text here.
I gave my toddler my iPhone—and invented the “Screen Detox”
Read how I learned the hard way how to limit my son’s screen time.
I homeschool three “big” kids with two dogs and a toddler at home, so I’m one busy mama. The dogs are easy. Just a pat on the head and a trip to the back yard and they’re good for hours. But my 3-year-old son, Gianni–let’s just say he doesn’t like being on the sidelines.
I’d never been a mom who allowed much screen time. Gianni’s older siblings got to watch one movie a week at his age. But with my fourth kid, that rule was difficult to enforce.
Just like any addiction, Gianni’s iPhone habit started with a small fix. The big kids and I were sitting at the table working on math. My plan was to set up the older two girls with their school work, answer a few questions, then sit down with my first grade son to walk him through his problems.
But Gianni didn’t get that this situation called for quiet. (What toddler does, right?)
He asked me for milk. He spilled the milk. I went to clean it up.
My daughter asked me a question. I shouted something about numerators and denominators into the dining room as I mopped the kitchen floor.
Gianni wanted more milk. I poured it for him. His big brother asked what was taking me so long.
I went back to the dining room. Gianni followed me.
You get the idea. It was never ending.