Saturday, February 7, 2015

Unplugged

Minnehaha Falls (frozen!)

There is a conflict that arises when Digital Immigrants (over age 30) and Digital Natives (the under 30 crowd) meet.  It's true, we Digital Immigrants don't always get it.  It's true, I really don't want to get it.  I want my kids to be kids.  I want you to read a book, enjoy the outdoors, call a friend on the telephone (as in the home phone), play a board game, create your own game, paint your nails, play basketball, help make dinner, chat live and face to face.  I am definitely a fan of "old school" and I'm nervous about this generation.  I am thankful to have so many friends that I can chat with about these things...I like to call it "solving the worlds problems".  Because really, if we raise kids who become great adults, we change the world.

The Miller kids got "unplugged" this week.  I didn't even give them a warning.  Monday morning, I was feeling like:
1.  the kids have been on their devices too much
2.  one of my kids broke one of our "non-negotiable" rules and I was furious.  (added 2 apps that we don't approve of and have had several conversations regarding these two apps prior to the adding of said apps.)
I just said, "you guys are taking a week off of media" (iPhones, iPods, iPads, and computers).  We can watch TV here and there and we can definitely have movie nights.  But, you will not be gaming or social media-ing or face-timing or making videos or taking crazy amounts of pictures (of yourself!).  Just...a break.  Yes, I was afraid to tell them.  The reaction is never an enjoyable one.  But, these kids are our responsibility, and I take that very seriously.  I am instructed by God to "train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  (Proverbs 22:6)  I was never promised that it would be easy, though I kind of thought it would be.  I appreciate a Facebook friend that said, "Wow you are brave Tiffany".  This is not easy or fun or what everyone else is doing.

I have truly enjoyed this week with my kids!  They seem happy and free...I feel like this is how childhood should feel.  One child will be off media for 3 months as a "natural consequence".  The other two will re-enter the world of technology with caution.  30-60 minutes a day.  I would like them to "plan" what they would like to accomplish on their media/iPhones.  Make a list.  They should know that it will not be endless hours of bopping around.  Those days are done.  No more free passes when friends are over.  Enjoy your friends while you have them face to face.

A few of our rules regarding media include:
1.  all media is enjoyed on the main level (never in the bedrooms and certainly not after tuck-in...goodness.)
2.  all devices are set at the charging station at the end of the day and are subject to random checks by parents...and we do.
3.  do not delete texts

Our list is long, but these are the top 3.

Donuts with Dad

As I re-read this post, it feels so heavy and sad and serious.  I suppose it is.  But I feel hopeful!  I do!  (Also, I have no idea what happened to my formatting this week.  Somehow all my text is in "caption" form.  IDK.)  Let's be inspired to raise this generation of kids who are empowered to go out and change the world.  Let's show them that technology and social media can absolutely be some of the best tools, when used appropriately.  And also, it's OK to just have fun sometimes and play Minecraft and post crazy stuff on Instagram and make music videos with friends, but all things in moderation.

Basically, my goal is to raise kids who become great adults (as opposed to raising great kids...thanks Andy Andrews!) who are prepared to leave my home when they become adults.  And, I sure am thankful to be doing this with my husband...the greatest man on the earth.

To my kids..."You are so smart, and I believe in you!  Now, go be awesome."

Influences:
God, Family, Friends, Church
PBS "Generation Like"
YouTube "Look Up"
Wired and Tired from Psychology Today (electronics and sleep disturbance in children)
Steve Jobs was a Low-Tech Parent as seen in the NY Times

XOXO Tiffany

"Putting your house in order is the magic that creates a vibrant and happy home."
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
















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