TV, Ipads , and Books

When I did not have a child it was so easy to say– “When I am a mom my child is not going to do this or that!” One of the things I often commented on as my wish list as a new mother is that my son would not watch TV until he was over two years old. The other was that we wanted to expose him to books early on with night time reading. Now that I am a mom I know the reality of things. In fact just about every thing I said I was not going to do– I did.

I am the first to blame. I am absolutely addicted to my iPhone, and iPad and my Kindle. These items are always around me. The first imitation behavior Ale did was to walk around with any object- shoes, spoons, you name it and have a mock phone conversation. I swear there is fairy dust in the Apple products as Ale has always been drawn to them. He knows how to unlock my phone, play music and get to his favorite app. Ale is 16 months!! 

My husband is the TV watcher of the house. Granted its mostly news and sports- when he is home the TV is on. So Ale’s next favorite imitation was to grab the remote, point it to the TV and try to change the channels. 

Then my husband and I are guilty of finding TV programs for Ale. We discovered he loved the Bob the Builder books. Then one day we were looking at the TV program line up and saw Bob the Builder on demand. The new parents that we are were delighted to see this as a TV show. We turned it on and my guy went nuts. Now he points to the the TV through out the day and says BOB! BOB! — His words in his 16 month old vocab are, Mama, Papa, Yeah! and BOB!

With all this technology around my little guy how can I say no and really mean it? I’m trying my best to set limits. I am trying to push him more towards the Bob books, and other great children’s books. Unfortunately, the flashy Goodnight Safari app is way more exciting. 

Growing up in the 80’s I only had paper books, the TV was limited to about 10 channels and the phone was only in the kitchen. Ale’s world is so much different. Am I being old fashioned? Does it really matter that Ale does not read many paper books? I don’t even read paper books now!! Will all the bright moving colors and sounds make him have ADHD? I can hear my grandmother “Don’t sit so close to the TV!”.

My gut is telling me to go with the flow as I’ve been doing and try to find the middle ground.  But there is always that shadow of doubt in the back of my head. I guess that is what it means to be a parent.