Computer games : Saving our sanity

I know I may get crap for this, but we have started letting Munchkin play computer games before bed.

Life with Munchkin is not easy. He is a “sparkler”. Go, go, go. All. Day. Long. Our days are loud, intense and energy filled. He could run a marathon and still be rearing to go for another few hours. He is very stubborn. He knows what he wants and it is very hard to distract him if it is not something he should have or can have at the moment. He also in a throwing phase right now. So annoying. He has lost quite a few toys recently because he was throwing them and wouldn’t stop. *sigh*

The end of the day is the worst. It starts after dinner. He is out of control. I know it is because he is getting tired and winding down would mean he has to acknowledge the tiredness. Munchkin has always hated sleep though. Since the day he joined us. He fights it with everything he has. We’ve tried every possible thing we can come up with to make sleep an easier thing for him.

Bedtime has been all over the place. Super early, no bedtime and everything in between. We finally settled on bedtime being sometime between 9 and 10 pm.  Before that, we were spending between 1 and 2 hours trying to get him to fall asleep. Now it takes less than a 1/2 hour(most nights). We watch for the subtle signs that he is finally giving in to the sleepiness and then get him ready for bed. Hubby handles Munchkin’s bedtime. I used to, but somewhere along the line, he refused to go to sleep for me.

Anyway, back to the computer games.

I have this app on my phone called Zoodles. It is a great app. I can load kid apps that are on my phone into the program and it has lots of kid friendly videos. It has a drawing feature and stories that it reads to them as well. Really fantastic. Great for grocery shopping or keeping him busy in the car or when I need a few moments to get something done around the house.

I discovered last week, that this app is also available to use on the computer. It links up to videos and online games from Nick Jr, Sprout, etc. It blocks the kiddos from getting into the rest of the computer, it blocks ads. You can set limits on time, what sites they can get to, what characters they are exposed to, etc. Again, I’ll say it, Fantastic app.

We’ve started letting Munchkin play the games when I bring Peanut to bed.

He LOVES being able to use the computer. He LOVES being in control of what games he wants to play and what videos he wants to watch. WE love that he stays completely focused. He is quiet and relaxed. I know they say no TV or computers, etc for an hour or two before bed for better sleep, but he does so much better being able to play these games. He even turns it off fairly easily(for a 3 yr old) if we give enough time to prepare. I start telling him about 10 minutes before we need him to turn  it off and get ready for bed.

We don’t just leave him to it. We are nearby and talk to him about the games and what he is learning (the majority of the games are educational). Sometimes he asks for help figuring out how to play a new game. He likes to take turns playing as well. So we aren’t using it as a babysitter. It is just nice to have our evenings a little bit quieter.

What things do you do to help your kiddos wind down at night?

5 thoughts on “Computer games : Saving our sanity

  1. Don’t sweat it! Lotus often will watch a half hour show or have a little computer time with me before bed. Honestly, if I kept track of nights when she does and doesn’t watch tv before bed, I don’t think I’d see a pattern. I don’t believe it affects her sleep readiness at all. All children are different.

  2. If my daughter hadn’t already practically beheaded our laptops we would probably let her play games too. We do dinner, bath, milk and a show or two and a story. That usually helps her be ready. Its so funny how they get all wacky and wild when they fight sleep!

    • Oh no, your poor laptop. Mine has definitely seen better days. . . .We have tried every bedtime routine under the sun. He will do ok for a week and then all hell breaks loose again. He hates routine. His little brother is the complete opposite.

      • I’m interested to see how my 7 month old will do bedtime. She’s already a lot more mellow than my 2 yr old so hopefully she won’t give us a hard time. Finding a routine that worked for us was absolute hell.

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