My husband and I try to keep an eye on how long they play any of their devices. Of course they can't touch their electronics until school is done, but lets be perfectly honest here...it is not easy keeping tabs...ALL the time. I work out of my home, and my children are left to their own devices (pun intended) while I'm giving guitar lessons. If they are on their electronics, I know my house is going to stay clean (and food will be left in the cupboard) - so sometimes its a fair trade.
This electronic generation is struggling to use their imaginations and their creativity. So, we tried an experiment (still ongoing by the way). Other than watching movies with us, they were going to stay away from their "plugged in" devices. No Wii, no tablets, no DS games, no computer, even no Kindle reading (find a book with pages that you actually have to turn).
Ok..so I'm sure someone is reading this and saying, well why didn't you unplug too? (Its ok, my children asked the same thing). We do almost all of our banking online, bill pay online, email is important and yes, even Facebook is useful when used correctly. Then there is the point that both my husband and I made to my kids...we don't have a problem getting all of our jobs done, spending time face to face, or playing and doing other things - ie. reading a book (we are both book nerds). It is different...there isn't the threat of addiction issues with us. Of course, all of this is my opinion...but it is my blog..so...
My boys didn't give one fuss over the idea! In fact, they were excited. Let me tell what happened this past week:
- Monopoly, The Scrambled States Game, Puzzles and even Battleship were on the dining room table. In addition to that, during those times, much laughter and excitement sat around the table as well. (We are naturally a big board game family, but this week...WOW!)
- The basketball and football were in full use (even in the rain). Neighborhood boys came out of the woodwork. :)
- The 7 trillion LEGOS that my boys have collected over the past 6 years were ALL out. At one point my husband and I thought we were taking our life into our own hands if we dared attempted to help make the top bunk bed. I think they made up some games to go with the LEGOS.
- Paper, colored pencils and drawing pads made their way to the table too.
- Pleasant, happy, non-distracted children played with each other (and with us) - every single day.
I have to say, this has been a great week. I'm so proud of my boys! NOT one complaint the entire time.
Realistically there are going to be times they have to use the computer. Minecraft and other games that they play (snowboarding on the Wii) even Facebook are fun and honestly if used correctly and tempered with a good mix of all the other things they rediscovered were TONS of fun...in my opinion and for MY children...its not so bad.
Not sure if we will keep this going for another week (Sunday will be 7 days). We did say we will take it one-week-at-a-time. (Before they are even aware a whole month may go by. tee hee!) I don't know. Maybe we will see how the rest of the weekend goes before making a decision. I know this...they have admitted that it has been fun and even said they would do it again. So..we'll see.
Have you had your children unplug recently? What happened?