baby · homeschool solutions · Mommas · technology

Limiting Technology: Again

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.

It happens.

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.

depression.jpeg

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.

They are:

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.

Jenny

19 thoughts on “Limiting Technology: Again

  1. Just the fact that you see the problem it causes and make that decision to detox is very commendable! Some parents won’t even consider technology as the problem, but a constant solution. So bravo! As far as other ideas, it’s always great to have a plan of action for your day. I started with a simple planner that lists the six major areas I want to focus on throughout my week: spiritual, family, personal, financial, friendship, and physical. I have to dedicate time to each area, which creates a beautiful balance not only in my life, but in the lives of everyone around me:)

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  2. Completely stopping feels a bit harsh and may make it more appealing or lead to imaginative attempts to get round it. I am all for limiting as it sounds more sustainable in the long-term. Everything in moderation as they say.

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  3. I’m right there with you! We have also fallen back in this rut. Trips over the holidays, different expectations at relatives’ homes, catching up from the holidays… it’s been anything but normal. I allowed technology to babysit my children (I’m ashamed to say it and almost back-spaced). I love all of your ideas! One rule we have set, no video games during week days. Video games are allowed on the weekend as long as their actions during the week deem it. TV is only allowed during the week, after homework is done and only for about a half hour to an hour. It’s cold outside so this is a harder rule to follow right now. ❤ I appreciate your advice and for being genuine with us!

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  4. I have a love/hate relationship with technology too. It’s too easy to let lots of time pass and then realize they’ve been on it for a few hours.
    I need to put a foot down about it but I’m not sure how to go about it!

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    1. Julie! It’s exactly the same for me – love/hate. Moderate changes. And if your children are old enough to have a conversation about it, talk with them about your concerns. Get them to understand from your perspective.

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  5. Seasons happen in which technology happens more than we would prefer. I think the fast from technology is so important. It’s like breaking the cycle. Once they get in the habit of reading, or playing Legos, or whatever instead, then it’s easier to say no to technology!

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  6. My husband and I have had this conversation with our children that we can notice a change in their mood and attitude when they have played too much video games. We have shared with them what their typical personality and behaviors are like and then we pointed out what we see shifts. They are able to acknowledge not liking to experience the negative moods within themselves (or their sibling). This has helped them to understand why we set limits. And allowed them to also be more internally aware of when they need to stop even if it is before we limit them.

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  7. New babies totally throw us off our mom-game, don’t they? It sounds like you’re still doing an awesome job though. I love your ideas for detoxing from technology. I just send my kids outside for an hour. Sometimes they get caught up and don’t come back in after the hour, sometimes they are checking the time every five minutes. That’s when I know the next day will be a tech-free day.

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  8. This is great! We do something similar. We we have non-TV days a few days a week and only two days that they can play a video game. This past weekend we were camping and it was so wonderful with no electronics, just the sound of the breeze and the ocean. I would love to eliminate electronics altogether, but we all make excuses not to. But fasting is great. For Lent we fast for 40 days from all video games and TV is only allowed twice a week. Thanks for this post.

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  9. I’m so with you. Extra tv time results in peace and quiet for a while, but then becomes an entitlement! Whining, tantrums, and crying ensue when I say, “No.” A new baby is our season of extra tv too. I can relate!

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