Nowadays, it’s easy for parents to give in to iPads, phones, or any other source of technology to distract or placate the little ones. This is what may be ‘screen time.’ I am guilty of resorting to this too, however, I like to have it as the last ‘educational-show/game’ option, if I need to quickly prepare food, calm him in public (or in the hospital, like last week). This is where, as parents, our patience is tested but also a reminder to teach the little ones to take control of their own emotions and enjoy the things outside of the little addicting device.
I am consciously trying to spark his curiosity even though he naturally explores it himself. Whether he is indoors playing, helping me clean or cook, there are plenty of activities to keep him occupied, while learning something new and using his colorful imagination. Outdoors, anything and everything is a playground to explore. (You should have seen him at the beach! He was fascinated by the ‘agua!’)
Now, the car is a common place where kids have screen time. (Recall mini-vans with flat screens?) In the car, I encourage Sammy to observe his surroundings. He will spot an airplane or any object of interest, miles away… probably above a normal visual threshold. Or he will count cars and tell me the colors he observes.
The other day we were on the road as the sun was setting. He shouts ‘sun setting momma.’ As the sun fades in front of us, he asks ‘where it go?’ and found myself giving him a lesson on earth science and Copernicus, ha! Most times, he is listening and watching so closely that he will repeat mommy’s bad word that slipped amid road rage. “Fak??”
I learned a lesson there myself. He knew it was not good to repeat it and continued to distract him with other things passing by. He is very smart and curious, my baby!
Sure, he may be curious about technology too! Technology (phones, iPads, laptops, etc.) introduce him to a lot of learning material and it is just a matter of balancing it out. But the outdoors…the wilderness is the best teacher a child can have for a healthy emotional, physical and mental development. ❤