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Screen-Time Detox Program for the Boys

During our holiday to Singapore I have been rather lax with screen time. I gave the boys a free reign on the iPad and iPod during the car ride down and whenever they were “bored” because they had to “wait”. I figured it was easier to lug a couple of devices rather than bringing a whole bag of toys and books around (which would also need to be rotated so they didn’t get bored of the same old stuff). Now that we are back home, the boys are on a screen-time detox program to purge them of their screen dependence. Yup, that means no iPad, TV, or computers (except Little Reader/Little Math/Little Musician – which equates to about 15 minutes).

I have been supplementing Hercules’ lessons with more audio – Peter Weatherall, They Might Be Giants, Ballads from the Age of Science, Suzuki Piano CD, and Right Brain Kids Alpha Wave Music – which we listen to while the boys are playing. 

It’s day one of our detox and I think we’re doing okay – definitely a lot less painful than I was expecting. There is a lot more noise, mess and fighting from the boys, but I suppose it’s to be expected. Here’s how the boys have been keeping busy…

Aristotle made the Chinese Junk model that we picked up from our visit to the Maritime Museum in Singapore.

Detox - Junk

And did some reading – Amelia Jane, Riotous Robots, and Dead Dinosaurs.

Detox - Read

And he added some new artwork to his collection.

Hercules played Jigsaw Puzzles…


…Lego and Dinosaur Trains.

Detox - Trains

We also had some water play in the bath tub, and they both engaged in a healthy game of “chase” with the usual rough-housing that boys are renown for getting into…

Detox - Chase

Some mediating over toy squabbles and “who hit who first” was required throughout the day (okay, okay, a lot of mediating was required).

Let’s see if we can make it through the rest of the week…

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

4 thoughts on “Screen-Time Detox Program for the Boys

  1. Hi Shen-Li,
    wow! Hercules is such a smart boy! He can do the Thomas puzzle! How you teach him to play jigsaw? I bought my gal a 12pcs jigsaw few months ago. I showed her how to play it, then she seems to be remembering where to put the pieces rather than really thinking of the whole picture. So, i stop buying her the jigsaw and thinking of waiting till she really know how to play…. :p
    Think i should buy her more jigsaw….

    Hercules is such a cute and smart boy!! love him… 😀


  2. Hi Ng,

    So sorry. Almost forgot to reply this one… It’s okay that she remembers where to put the pieces. It’s part of the learning process. If you provide her with more puzzles and opportunities to play, she will expand her skill set. Different kids will approach the puzzle differently, too. For instance, my husband used to try to teach Aristotle to work on the border first but Aristotle prefers to start with the part of the picture he is familiar, e.g. Thomas, and then work the rest out from there.

    I didn’t really try to teach them. Kids learn by copying, so I play and let them watch. Then they start to “help” me. After a while, Hercules says, “No Mum! I do myself!” Then after that, to get them to play puzzles, I’ll pull out the harder ones to do, while he works on the easier ones by himself – so we each have our own puzzle to do. Sometimes I find they just want you nearby – not necessarily to participate in what they are doing or even to help them but just to have your presence around…


  3. Thanks for the reply Shen-Li. Thanks for taking time to reply our questions here.
    Haaa…. i bought a few more puzzles for her, 24 pcs, 40 pcs and 60pcs. Wanted to play with her the 24 pcs one. But i notice that when I’m with her, she will depend on me all the time, no patience to try but always say “mommy help”. So, one night i put the jigsaw on the table with only 3pcs on the board. The next morning, as usual, i let her play by her own while i’m preparing breakfast. She completed the 24pcs puzzle by herself!
    awww…. when i’m around, she become impatience and ‘stupid’…. :p :p :p


  4. Kids are smart… Why work when Mummy will do it for me? :-p My eldest was the same… Still is, actually… It kills me that I cripple him rather than enable him with my presence…


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