How are we getting through the confinamiento / quarantine / Safer-at-Home / Lockdown /(Insert any happy euphemism for what is essentially house arrest)? Answer: a lot of television.
Babbo and I are experts at watching screens but it took a lot of work to get il Bambino interested. Here’s how we did it:
- Lots of prenatal exposure to screens
- asked our friends and family to please buy whatever toys made the most sounds and had the flashiest lights.
- asked both sets of grandparents to buy a tablet, one Apple iPad and one Samsung Galaxy, because we want her to feel equally at ease in an iOS and an Android operating system
- Through trial and error, we figured out that she demonstrated more interest in programming that featured cartoon characters her age, versus the Deutsche Welle news
- But really the most effective thing was just persistence–showing her screens in all kinds of contexts–at home, at the playground, at Nonna and Pop pops, on airplanes, at the sports bar, etc.
I know some parents might have given up after a few weeks or months but we just kept at it even when she had absolutely no interest in screens except as a fun thing to chew on, and now she is happy to sit for a full 20 minutes to watch a Sesame Street!
Thank goodness, we were afraid she wouldn’t be able to watch Frozen before preschool and then how would she relate to the other kids? I am confident we will all be singing along to the dancing snowman and his princess buddies before September.