Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Rules!

This is the summer of suck.
Okay, that might be overstating it slightly, but it's the summer where we don't go anywhere on vacation and our bottom line is being severely screwed by the sequester.
On top of that, I quit my regular gig to freelance. Meaning more time to work at home.
You know, right when the kids are at home?

So, needless to say, there are a lot of stolen moments where I'm working and the kids are hanging out. Much of that is spent on electronics. After all, I'm also on electronics (their immediate justification) and I know it will buy me work time.

My kids have never been that "plugged in." We didn't get any sort of video game anything until rather late in life, and my husband & I were never really gamer-type people. Unless you count solitaire or Tetris. And, recently, Candy Crush. And that one two week period when we both fell into Oregon Settler.

But I digress.

It's been building, slowly but surely, this computer/Kindle/iPod time. Yesterday we reached a tipping point; everywhere we went, it was "do they have wifi here?" and "I can't wait to check my [something something dragon something egg something]" which would lead into a shared ramble about dragon babies or some such nonsense.

So, when we finally got home (their words), they scampered off to their rooms and into the land of dragon babies and saved them or birthed them or ... whatever it is kids are doing with dragon babies these days. The rest of the night was spent offline.

Then, hours after the kids were tucked in, presumably to dream about dragon-filled eggs, I noticed my dear daughter's door was open--she often opens it because she just doesn't like to be behind a closed door. And as I went in to check on her before closing the door? Yup, tending to her dragon babies. At 11:30pm.

So, it looks like the electronics won't be a problem for her anymore--she's the opposite of Breaking Amish for a while, won't be on any internet-accessing device that is housed within our home for the foreseeable future. Oh, and yeah, early to bed and all that, too.

And I realize that after spending a day hearing my kids jonesing for their fix of dragon eggs, it's time we set some limits. Haven't had to do that before, but the screens are taking over my tweens. I told my son and he was okay with that; an hour per day, max, and it'll be tracked on a timer.

And maybe it's time for me to rethink my own screen usage. Just because the laptop is put away doesn't mean it's time to get on the iPad. Or Kindle. Or smartphone.

Yeah, I don't know where they get it.


  1. My kids are getting way too much screen time, and for similar reasons--most days I work from home, and with two little guys underfoot, it's the only way I can get anything done. I make sure they have some active outdoor time almost every day, but I know there's a lot of room for improvement. My oldest starts kindergarten this year, so maybe once they're out of the house for a few hours each day I'll be able to focus on them more when they're home. We all do the best we can, right?

  2. Have you checked out www.commercialfreechildhood.org? It is a great resource to help parents set limits, and their mission is pretty cool too! During my self-imposed screen free week (during owfi by the way-ugh) I found out about a book called "Doug Unplugged" that is so clever, it might be just the right kick off to reclaiming your balance in the digital summertime :) Thanks for the post- been there!

  3. Mari, I don't want to minimize the problem, but anybody who has time to make wonderful lasagna is doing something right with their time management skills!

  4. We all have been sucked into the technology thing. Last week, while at my dental appointment I surveyed the waiting area. What do you think I saw? Yep, you got it every person sitting in that room was using their smartphones. I would have been amongst them, if I had it with me, too. There I sat, the only person with a magazine in my lap and I thought, "We did okay back in the day before we could access the internet on the go. Everyone needs to get unplugged. Too much of a good thing can really be a bad thing (cyber addiction).

    It was nice meeting you. Hopping over from The Music Mamas! Your newest GFC follower...~Cathy

    Sizzlin' 2013 Summertime Hits on Monday's Music Moves Me