There was one day a couple of weeks ago, when my kids got a wake up call.
I am not proud to say this, but I had been allowing them to watch WAY too much television.
They would wake up, watch TV, do school, watch TV, play video games then watch TV.
I had gotten into a rut. With a new baby, I had been super tired and had not been keeping a careful eye on their technology consumption.
But this one day, my older son got off the Wii and came in crying. Like, really crying. He was upset about some level in some game against some “boss” he was battling. He yelled at me, yelled at his brother and was generally DISAGREEABLE.
I realized – it’s the technology.
I have known for a long time that video games and TV watching triggers certain parts of your brain that are associated with depression, but you know, life happened and we fell down the tunnel of technology-keeps-them-from-bickering into a comfortable place where I was allowing technology to give me some much needed peace and quiet.
Maybe you can relate.
I have some friends who have completely eliminated technology from their homes – I really admire them. But I feel perhaps we are too far down the road to take that route.
So what are we to do?
Here’s the thing. What I have learned is that we will start off with strict parameters around technology, they eventually wane and weaken. It’s the times when the rules falter that I often need to re-evaluate and recommit to what I feel are healthy levels of technology time.
When I notice the behavior is off, and the transition time from technology to “real life” is bumpy, it’s time to employ one of my de-tox techniques.
A tightening of the belt so-to-speak. I ask them to recommit (as mommy will too) to the one hour of video games a day we allow.
I engage them more. I step up my requests to ask them to draw, write, read or do some other activity or I offer to do an activity with them.
I ask for a 2 to 3-day fast from technology. I ask the boys to choose two days that they will not be on technology all day. Yeah, they can be long days…but it’s worth it!
Or do all three!
I often see an immediate change upon doing these things.
Can you think of any other ideas that you can share with me in the comments?
I would love to hear your perspective.