I use to have an iPhone5. No I didn’t lose it, nor was it taken by security at the airport. It was lost to my technology crack obsessed four year old. My Mandrian Youtube watching, Mindcraft playing, Clay Jam and Candy Mania scoring children cannot seem to function in life without some form of screen time.
When I was growing up screen time consisted only of the rectangle box in the living room known as television. My Dad would always remind me not to sit too close to it or it might fry my brain. Little did he know a generation later we would stare at these devices inches away from own our eyes. It’s probably is still frying our brains but now we encourage it.
Technology Addiction Babysitters
For my three addicts, it consists of iPhones, Kindles, laptops, handle held game devices, just about anything with a computer chip. These electronics have become the babysitters and restaurant quieters of our generation. These addictions are fierce and controlling but certainly not without benefits.
As their technology drug lord enabler, I can command homework to be completed, chores be finished, food be consumed, and teeth be brushed before they can return to their addictions. It is quite effective. But as addicts, I find my 10 YO getting up extra early to have computer time. Granted he is a straight A student, learning Mandrian and killing it on Khan Academy. Nevertheless, I am a little concerned about how big his obsession has become. If left to their own devices, my children would not eat, and probably die in front of a laptop or smart phone. Truthfully, I have no idea where they learn such behavior. After all I only spend 18 hours a day in front of my laptop so it can’t be MY fault. hehe
So what do we do about it?
5 Tips to Limit the Technology Addiction Crack
1. We Restrict What They Play- Thankfully all of our technology has parental controls with password protection that requires a code from a parent before they can download or play a game or an app.
2. We Collect the Technology an Hour Before Bedtime – We collect and charge all the technology in our bedroom and collect it at certain times of the evening before the children go to bed. This doesn’t make us popular, but it does allow for a smoother bedtime transitions.
3. We Don’t Allow Technology Until They are Ready for School – My son would wake up hours before the rest of us to have unmonitored computer time. Since we charge the devices, he cannot have his technology until he is dressed, had breakfast and is ready for his school day. Our daughter is not allowed to turn her phone on until after her school day.
4. We Time Restrict and Monitor Access on Phones – One of the main reasons we like Verizon over AT&T (we switched for the parental controls) is we can restrict when and where cell phones work and view what they texted, who they talked too, and what they played. We can turn off any features of the phone remotely if needed and can track exactly where our teenager is at all times.
5. We Instigate Technology Free Family Time – Honestly I am the worst, but SuperParentMom is encouraging me and the kids to have technology free dinners, and family time. I am still personally working through this step, but modeling must come first the parents before we can expect it from the kids.
They say acknowledgment is the first step to admitting a problem. I clearly am just as addicted to my technology as my kids are. It’s late in the evening, perhaps my first step is shutting down this post and spending some technology free time with my spouse. Hey SuperParentMom, “Want to watch some Netflixs now that the kids are in bed?” Opps that’s technology too! See it’s harder than you think? But then again, I’m not addicted to technology crack.
How about you? Can you or your kids live without technology for a day? How do you keep technology from taking over your household?
Image courtesy of Supertrooper at FreeDigitalPhotos.net