As parents, we often hear that we need to limit our children’s screen time. Especially when it’s mindless TV watching. I’ve always tried to be a “good” mom by not letting Sam totally veg out, other than the occasional sick or lazy day. But, today I’m here to say that, not only is screen time NOT melting Sam’s brain away, it’s actually helping him to make connections to the real world and improve his speech and communication skills. To read more about Sam’s speech delay and recognizing speech delays, click HERE.
What?!?!?! Kyrstie must be losing her mind, right?? Well, let me give a few examples of where Sam was at communication wise a few months ago.
- Sam could say “all done” when finished with food
- Sam would say “don’t” pretty much all the time
- Sam would not wave hello or good-bye
- Sam would not give hugs to anyone willingly and would only give hugs to me when I forced it
So, imagine my surprise when he started waving good-bye. Success! I attributed it to my own hard work and relentlessness. Haha, so naive. Then last week, he started waving hello and saying, “hey there!” So cute, right? I love it so stinking much. I couldn’t believe that he was really starting communicate. I wasn’t quite sure where he had learned the “hey there” from until I sat down and watched Curious George – Halloween Boo Fest with him (He’s totally obsessed). Guess what? George waves and says “hey there” during the movie. And Sam did it with him. I also saw Sam count to three, yell “boo” and imitate reactions to situations in the movie. This is a big deal for us!
Let’s talk about another type of screen time for a minute. I am one of those moms that resisted letting my kid play with my phone. But you can only take so many meltdowns at the grocery store, before you crack. So, now Sam plays with my phone while we run errands. Some of our favorite apps include Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Animals (FREE), Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood ($1.99) and the Peek-A-Boo Collection which includes Peek-a-boo Barn, Forest, Fridge and two holiday ones…Trick or Treat and Presents (I bought all them in a bundle for $4). He has started naming some of the barn yard animals since playing with these apps, so I think there’s something to be said for them. I am going to take partial credit though, because we read more than our fair share of “A Cow Says Moo” (By Sandra Boynton) and I can’t tell you how much time he spends playing with his toy farm.
Anyways, back to the main point. I’m in no way advocating using screen time to replace one-on-one interaction or play or using it as a babysitter 24/7, but there is something to be said for progress I’ve seen Sam make during his screen time interactions. It has definitely changed my perspective about the brain melting thing. Also, any mom guilt I’ve felt about letting Sam have screen time, is pretty much non-exsistant at this point.
So, what are some of your favorite toddler educational shows and apps, because I’m always looking for something new and exciting to show him.
Have a good Wednesday, my dear mama friends,