My child became and iPad expert almost immediately. His favorite thing to do is to watch product reviews of video games and toys on youtube. When I say favorite thing-I mean he will spend hours watching video after video. He also starts a list of things he wants for Christmas by running in the living room saying “I want that” as he points to a playdoh ice cream machine or a Lego set on the screen.
But recently he got a little out of hand with it. He started sneaking in my room, taking it off the charger and hiding in his room with it. Then when the battery dies, he throws an hysterical fit, crying and screaming about it. He started begging to watch videos until he falls asleep. I told him “no”and of course another meltdown ensued. Plus, he would stay up watching videos until midnight each night so we were exhausted all the time.
It started making my husband crazy. He usually tries to stay out of the discipline arena because I do a good job of handling things but when he steps in, he makes his presence known for sure by taking things away for a night at least but sometimes permanently.
Finally, the last straw for me was when I went in his room to check on him and he was watching Grand Theft Auto videos with cuss words. I told him to change it or I would take it away. I gave him the lecture on appropriate language and he apologized. As I got ready for bed, I heard B go in the bathroom and say the word “shit.” That was it for me.
That night I changed the rules. I told him no more iPad after 7:00PM on school nights and 9:00PM on non-school nights. He has to stay in the living room so we can monitor what he is watching. I don’t get off from work until 4:30-5 and it’s a 45 minute drive home so he usually gets the iPad for about an hour maximum each day.
Since I made the change, we have had no problems. He will watch a few videos, eat dinner, take his bath and be asleep by 10PM each night. We did have one night that he chose to play with regular toys over the iPad thinking he could play on the iPad later but I told him no and stood my ground and he let it go.
I love giving my child the right to choose his path, but in this situation, Mom knows best.