We often talk about taking breaks from technology but truthfully…we rarely do it. My son is on the Ipad, while I am getting my classroom ready. When I think of a phrase or an idea to share on the blog, I type it into my phone. It has become part of our daily life…good or bad…it just is there.
Last weekend, we had a discipline issue and the fact that we are “technology dependent” really helped! In order to earn back any screen time due to behavior choices, my son needed to complete a list of 10 things before returning to the Ipad, laptop or Nintendo DS. Most of the listed items were chores & school work, but others were experiences that should be taking place more in our home. As expected, there was some complaining and “breaks” to recover from “all the hard work that seems unreasonable that I have to do when I am tired and frustrated.”
A couple of things happened because of this experience…
First, my son realized that we mean what we say. If we expect him to stick to his word (and we do), it only makes sense that we do the same. Since this conversation, I have noticed that I’m not always as precise with my words as I thought. I often say, “break in 10 minutes” but if there were 20 minutes left in my show…I might let it slide.
Second, we are going through this “thing” where we try and explain that an apology doesn’t automatically mean that things are forgiven. I continue to explain that sometimes when damage has been done, a “sorry” isn’t enough. Especially when it is about an incident that happens repeatedly. My natural negotiator responds with…”If an apology isn’t enough…than I won’t bother doing it at all.” Obviously this is not the answer, so we continue to discuss the impact of our actions.
Third, even if he doesn’t like to admit it…he enjoyed having more time to do other things. During a car ride, he settled on reading a book instead of using the Ipad. It had been years since there was SO much quiet in the car and I realized that I missed it! It was great to see him reading and stopping and sharing interesting information.
During the summer, it has been hard to have a strict limits on screen time. This is especially true since my boy gets up at 6:30 am and goes to bed at 8:30 pm and it makes for a really long day. However, the school year is quickly approaching and I feel like we must transition to a more appropriate amount that will allow for school, homework, recovery time & family time.
The technology that my son depends on is educational and motivating. It moves at a fast pace and keeps him challenged. However, there is a whole world out there and the need for him to “deal with” people is a skill that he needs to practice like others practice math skills. How do technology limits work in your house? Text or email me your thoughts 🙂