Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Putting Relationships Before Screens

You may have seen this post (How to Miss a Childhood by Hands Free Mama) making the rounds today. If you haven't, it is a poignant and challenging call to Mamas to not allow our technology to rob us of our relationships.

I strive to be an intentional parent. I attempt to protect my family time from volunteer responsibilities or social obligations. We have fairly strict rules about screen time in our family (daily limits, no televisions in bedrooms, only shows I have preapproved/dvr-ed, dvds in car only when traveling more than an hour, etc...) I also try to keep my blogging, surfing and pinteresting confined to times when kids are at school, asleep or otherwise engaged. But I am human. My conscience has been reminding me lately that I need to watch it. It is a slippery slope.

I am a reader. I am an information junkie. The temptation to escape into quick 'hits' from my phone often gets the best of me. This is especially true in times mentioned in the article when 'real life' is humdrum and boring--and alternatively when it gets too loud and overwhelming. 

I don't want to raise little narcissists who think the world revolves around them. I think it is important that they learn to wait when other things are higher priority. But, I have a responsibility to be honest about what really is higher priority and what is just my preference. I have school-aged children who are out of the house 35 hours a week and go to bed 2-3 hours before me. There is plenty of time for me to get my digital needs met at times when it doesn't impact my relationships.

But, honestly, I am feeling challenged about Summer. I am toying with idea of keeping the same screen rules for myself that will apply to my children: One hour a day for anything screen related (tv, Wii, DS, ipad, computer), restricted to before 9am and after 4pm. Rainy days we will flex and, obviously, texts and phone calls will be at my discretion as needed. (This aren't really what get me in trouble...it is the idle surfing.)

Anyone else have ideas about how to keep the whole screen scene under control? I would love to hear it.


Ashley Ferguson said...

I haven't read that blog post you mentioned yet, but this is definitely a struggle for me. I have a 1 yr old little girl who I stay home with (I work a few hours a week from home when she naps) and I find myself checking things online often just to feel connected and have other communications with humans outside of the home, lol! I really strive to just do this when she's napping (I'm very fortunate she is a decent ballet and usually goes to bed by 730-8) so I have time, I just need to manage my time better. It's amazing how quickly it is to get sucked into technology. I applaud your technology guidelines for your children, I want to file this away for future use once my little one gets to that stage.

Have a great day!!

St Simon's Island, Georgia

Lydia Cross said...

Thank you for sharing the link! It's definitely made me think more about what I should be doing at home with my kids.

Nancy said...

Mandy at Biblical Homemaking has been doing what she calls the 10 to 10 Challenge (http://biblicalhomemaking.blogspot.com/2012/05/10-to-10-challenge-why-im-going-to-keep.html) No computer between 10 am and 10 pm. Seems to work for her. I don't have "little people" around anymore, but my husband would definitely like more of my attention than he's getting!

kathleen ward said...

I'm going to start taking your advice. My phone is starting to become too attached to me and I need to get it under control! Thanks for this!