Posted in Parenting

The Magical Tent

IMG_0077We all know that we should limit screen time for our kids.  But with the amounts of screens that can be found in the typical North American house and the hectic lives that many of us have, it can sometimes be difficult.  We’ve fallen into the trap quite a few times of allowing Charles more time with the iPad than we should.  Each time, we’ve had to wean him off the screen using various methods.

This time ’round, I’m trying to get him to do other things than play with my iPad in the morning.  You see, I rather like to sleep a little later than 6:00 am whereas he is wide awake by that time.  Because he was tired of being sent back to his room when he would come wake us up in the morning (he has a Gro Clock and should stay in his room until 6:15) he figured that if he got up quietly and sat in the living room with my iPad without waking anyone up, he could get up when he wanted (such a smart little man!).

However, since I want to encourage him to do other things when he wakes up, I have decided to set up a “magical” tent.  Basically, when he goes to bed at night, I take 5-10 minutes to set up some of his toys in the tent: a big robot made out of Duplo blocks, his road carpet with some cars…when he wakes up, he just needs to open the tent to see what’s hiding inside.

Getting ready to set up his toys.
Getting ready to set up his toys.

We’ve been doing this for two mornings now and it has been great.  Both times, when I woke up, he was happily playing in his tent instead of sitting on the couch with the iPad.  He wakes up excited to see what will have turned up in his tent.  I’m hoping that in the long run, this will create new habits for him.  Whatever happens, though, I’m having fun with the idea of the magical tent right now and he is too.

This is what he will be waking up to tomorrow morning.

How do you control screen time with your kids?

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Monkey See, Monkey Do.

Little Dude has been cranking up the cuteness recently.  He’s been copying what he sees his father and myself doing.

This morning, while I was taking my shower, he pulled the curtain aside and started handing me toys.  Then, he decided to remove the full bag from the trashcan and try to close it.  After that, he fetched another bag that was neatly folded at the bottom of the trashcan and proceeded to try to unfold it and put it in.  When he was unable to get anywhere with the first bag, he tried with a second, third and fourth one until he gave up and just closed the trashcan.  Then, as I tried to rinse my hair whilst avoiding getting any water in my infected ear, I started to hear a thud.thud.thud.  When I pulled the curtain aside, I saw my son using the plunger on the closed toilet seat.

Sometimes, the little guy drives me completely nuts, but most of the time, he just completely makes my heart melt.

Some other stuff he’s picked up:

–  He likes to brush his teeth when I’m done brushing his or when he sees me brush mine.

–  He wants to brush his hair when he sees me take care of mine.

–  He grabs a kleenex, brings it up to his nose, blows on it with his mouth, wipes his nose and the proceeds to put the kleenex in the trashcan.  Sometimes, he even brings a kleenex up to my nose to make me blow my nose.

–  He grabs a storybook and “reads” out loud.

–  He consistently eats with a fork.  Though he still uses his hands quite a bit, he has gotten really good with a fork.

–  He often grabs pots and pans and cooks up a storm on the kitchen floor

–  He puts things in the recycling bin (sometimes, though, “things” include toys so we always have to check before taking it out).

Did I mention that I love the kiddo to bits?