Technology Detox

We’re cutting down on technology around here. I didn’t think the kiddos watched that much TV. Then I started adding it up. A half-hour to hour while I showered in the morning; a half-hour to hour for Blaise while Laine napped, and/or iPad time; a half-hour while I made dinner; weekend mornings when Laine wakes up at 6:30am we’d turn on the TV so we could sleep a little longer…

Last weekend I decided it was too much. I took the TV out of our bedroom we put in back when Blaise was a newborn to entertain us while he slept, put the iPad (or iTad as Blaise calls it) away, and and kept the TV off all last week … mostly. I slipped twice: Blaise watched Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, a 25-minute show last Wednesday and I intentionally turned on a fire truck show while Blaise had his haircut Friday evening. They’ve done really well. Instead of watching a show while I shower, I turn them loose and when I get out, I find them reading books on their bedroom floor or doing some imaginary play. That feels so much better than seeing them glued to Curious George or The Cat in the Hat. And after Tuesday they stopped asking, “Show, please?”
The kiddos reading while I showered. Please excuse the messy room, we hadn’t made beds yet. And well, toddlers.

I’m not anti-technology; it has its place. I just felt we were using it a tad too much instead of encouraging the kiddos to find more ways to entertain themselves while I was busy. Blaise has always been very independent and plays well by himself but the TV was a way for me to confine the highly-active little guy to one spot. And by highly-active and needing confinement, I mean I didn’t want to walk downstairs and find him standing on the kitchen counter going through cabinets again after climbing up the kitchen drawer handles. Laine needs constant interaction so the TV suited her well, though she has moments where she plays well by herself. And by herself I mean actually playing and not harassing Blaise or following me around saying every two seconds, “Help, please?”

We don’t sit in front of the TV all the time, we keep super busy and include play at home days. Putting our calendar together for May and June, I’m slightly overwhelmed our weeks are packed but excited we have so many fun things on tap. Just trying to schedule a playdate with a friend, we had to book four weeks out between our busy toddler schedules. We’re actually playing hooky from Tiny Treks this morning to have some down time at home—we need a rest day. Even though when I asked Blaise what he wanted to do today, he said, “Go on a hike.” Maybe we will later. I’m just happy he didn’t ask for a show or hand me the Xbox remote. I’m going to keep up on no TV and probably no iPad between our outings, though I remind myself the iPad is how Blaise learned his alphabet so it has its place. I just rather him not searching You Tube for mom-approved fire truck videos and ending up on a video of lions mating?! (I’ve since turned You Tube off for when little fingers are swiping.)
Water Runnerswater
Keeping busy. Two parks in one day, who needs TV when there are hills to climb and water to run in?!

I’ve been better too. I only had the TV on one night last week for the one (embarrassing to admit) show I watch and for a movie Saturday night; I’ve turned off my data service on my iPhone so I’m restricted to wireless at home only; and I don’t keep my phone on me at home. Not that I don’t sneak in reading news (because seeing Kim Kardashian’s swollen feet squeeze into shoes matters, why is that news?!) or playing Candy Crush when the kiddos are playing quietly, damn addicting game. And I’m laptoping now while they play trains after we made a fancy track together. So maybe I’m not totally detoxing. We have to work on Brian next; he checks his email the moment he rolls out of bed and is always pulling it out (his phone) when there is a down moment. I will give him super-dad credit though—he’s not a dad checking his phone while pushing a kiddo in a swing. When he’s with the kids, he’s with them 100%. Just when they aren’t needing interaction, he’s on his phone. I do reserve one day a month for a TV day, rather a mom day off. Though, they lose interest in TV after an hour or two so I’ll have to step it up and play mom that day too…

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