How my Toddler’s Meltdown Saved me Over $900


Parenting is rewarding but also challenging. One major challenge is meltdown madness. We’ve all been there. You go to the grocery store or dinner and there’s a pint size person yelling about not getting their way. If your child hasn’t had a meltdown yet, just keep on going in public.

The day started out like most. Alarm goes off, we get up, get dressed, eat breakfast and head to school and work. This particular day, D wanted to watch  YouTube on the way to school. I told him no. The next 5-7 minutes seemed to go in slow motion as he yelled, screamed and cried about never being able to watch videos.

Initially, I started out with that’s not true, you watched Wheels on the bus yesterday and The Gummy Bear song the day before. It took be a few seconds to realize that I was trying to justify saying no. Coupled with bumper to bumper traffic and his crying my frustration grew.

I knew I was digging a hole for myself and had a chance to make this a teachable moment for both of us. I changed the pace of the conversation by asking him to count the red cars and trucks that we passed on the road. This worked, but I knew deep down it was only a matter of time before he would ask for my phone again.

Feeling hopeless, I hopped on my phone after dropping him off and read several published articles on best practice for reducing screen time and preschoolers.

Nemours 5 Healthy Goals  points out how limiting screen time can help limit childhood obesity and creates healthier kids. I was alarmed to learn that no more than 30 minutes per week is recommended for a 3 year old. We were well beyond that time frame and now was the perfect time to improve.

On the way home I broke the news to D that he would no longer be allowed to use my phone. Surprisingly he took the news well. I explained that we would come up with ways to make our commute more fun. I plan to blog about our commute games soon.

By now you’re probably wondering how his meltdown saved me over $900. Here’s how:

  1.  I logged onto Verizon and switched my plan. By reducing my XXL plan I shaved $60 a month from my bill. That’s $720 a year.
  2. I cancelled the Fire Kid Edition Tablet purchase that I intended to buy him for Christmas. It was sitting in my shopping cart. The tablet, extra memory card and headrest mount were $99.99, $29.99 and $39.95 respectively. I’m not a prime member which means I would have to pay for shipping. Include the shipping savings that’s over $900 in savings.

It’s been more than 3 months since D has used my phone. He hasn’t even asked for it and we talk a lot more. Win-win!

Is your little one obsessed with YouTube? How do you limit screen time? Tell us below. 


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