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Kids: Technology Detox

Written by: Jenny

So, I'm a little concerned that my three and six year old children are going to go to school this week and mention the word 'detox' to their teachers, who will likely have concern that their mother has entered rehab. However, that would not be the case! But, the word 'detox' has been drilled into their heads because that is exactly what is happening at my house.

Look, I think we can all agree. Phone addiction is REAL. And it sucks. I mean, not always. There are times when it's super handy. Like, a quick trip over to Google can assure me I am not dying of a deadly disease (or, convince me that I am). 'Maps' are great for charting new territory. My calendar is my life. And, I know that I'm addicted to my phone's camera.

But, then there are times when I KNOW that I should be 'present' in a moment. Instead? I'm scrollin' the feed... wasting time. Precious time.

My kids have iPads. Are they amazingly helpful at times to keep them occupied and quiet while I take a phone call or bring them with me to a doctor's appointment? You. Bet. Are they educational at times? Definitely!! We have some great apps loaded on my daughter's iPad to help her with her reading.

But. Do they spend more time watching 'Disney Collector' open up mystery eggs, getting frustrated and cranky because they can't reach the next level on 'Subway Surfer' or getting seriously ticked when their battery dies? Yes.

So, two days ago, my husband and I decided enough was enough. We took them away and told them they were not being punished. That we just felt the whole family needed a break from technology. That includes TV! 

Kind of like the moment when my daughter was two and I told her that she was a big girl now and big girls don't use 'binkies' (girlfriend was HOOKED on that thing. I was sure she'd be going off to college with it someday) -- both kids looked up at me, shook their heads in agreement and said, 'ok mom'.

Not gonna lie, I was slightly stunned. Even MORE shocked when here it is two days later -- they have not ONCE asked me for their iPads.

Kids are funny that way. In my experience, anyway! The things I think won't be a crisis at all result in mega temper-tantrums. Things I expect to be difficult? Not so much. I think the key was explaining the WHY. I mean, as adults, don't WE want to know WHY? They do too.

I've noticed a huge difference in their behavior. Don't judge... but I used to let them watch their iPads at meal time. More for my sanity than their entertainment. It kept them focused on eating and somewhat quiet so I could get some things done. Again... DON'T JUDGE! Mom survival is real.

But, now, meals actually run smoother. They want to get back to playing! So, they don't dilly-dally... they EAT. We also have conversation. Pleasant conversation. I don't think I gave them enough credit before.

They're growing up. I'm learning everyday as a mom what to do... what not to do... there is no manual for this stuff. #wingingit I just know that I want my kids to be polite. Engaging. Conversational. Well-mannered. And I certainly don't want them to become technology zombies.

I'm not sure when this detox will end. Maybe never? Our world is filled with technology. And again, much of it is great! It's finding the balance.




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