Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Technology Detox

My wife and I recently noticed that our kids were spending too much time on computers and watching videos and not doing their jobs, practicing, or homework like they should, so we got a little extreme. Last week, after they all went to bed, we decided to collect and put away all of the computers and I-pods in our house in an effort to get our kid's attention.

It worked. From their reaction, you would have thought we were suggesting that we cut their hands off. We have great kids and I'm grateful that the worst thing they do is sneak onto the computer to check their Facebook status, or watch YouTube without permission, but we have been slacking for a while and their computer use was getting out of control and we noticed a change in attitudes and their productivity over time.

Within 24 hours the angry and defensive attitudes that accompany video game playing had disappeared. Within a week we went from being the Simpsons to being the Flanders family. I can't believe it took us so long to do this. The best result from this change is seeing brothers and sisters hanging out together, talking to each other, and laughing and playing together. Previously they had plugged into separate computers with headphones as they isolated themselves from the family.

I'm sure we won't keep this up forever, but it has been a big improvement to our family. Our house is much cleaner and the kids are much more productive since they now have to earn computer access as opposed to it being their right. If your kids are isolated, developing bad attitudes, or not getting their work done, then I highly recommend this technology detox diet. Now they just need their dad to do the same thing.


Kristina P. said...

I'm sort of intrigued. Does this also mean TV?

Tom said...

We don't have TV reception, but we have Netflix with instant shows we can watch on our TV, so yes it did include TV too.

Lisa Loo said...

Good for you---the more kids understand that whole principle of things in life are earned not entitled the better off they are. And I try to follow my own advice every other day or as often as possible--whichever comes first...{{{sigh}}]

mCat said...

I have heard of schools issuing this challenge for a week, and I am grateful that my kids are older and I didn't have to do it.

I don't think I could. And back when my kids were younger, we spent so much time at the ball field or on a court, that TV and video games were never much of a problem.

And funny, we are still just like The Simpsons! : )

Eric said...

Whoa, you guys are practically Amish now.


Smart move. Young people today have lost the art of socializing (un person)

Cheeseboy said...

I've got to do this. It's getting so redonkulous in our house. iPods and DS's have become the worst. And I am just as fault as the others.

Joanna Jenkins said...

The "no video game/computer rule" applies at my house with Godson when he visits. He's 14 and becomes the devil child in his own world after about 15 minutes of games.

You are a brave man for removing your computers. I'm sure your kids freaked out but YEAH YOU!

Enjoy the peace! jj