Thursday, December 17, 2015

Clear Minds, Full Hearts, Can't Lose- How to (try to) Manage Electronic Devices During Christmas/Holiday Break

This past weekend we took extreme measures to control our kids' obsession with electronics...we took them all and I yelled "no one will ever have anymore electronics, I'm serious, never again for the rest of all time!"  

Awwww yeah, I showed them.

Well actually I didn't, because my family knows I pretty consistently make empty threats(especially when I completely lose my cool and act a little nutty). But when their dad got in on my attempt at banning all electronics, the kids started to get concerned.  
Tim dressed up as the electronic stealing elf because that's the kind of stuff we do. Lol.

After Tim took all the electronics away, the whole family had a serious conversation about not spending every free second on devices. And then we caved and gave them all back. 

Banning all electronics for the rest of time is tricky. I mean let's face it, Tim and I have a love/hate relationship relationship with electronics. Social media is fun and addicting and ahhhhh. I love that we live in a time where we can watch TV on our phones, I mean I LOVE it! It's kind of amazing and awesome. Tim loves getting his work email on his phone, okay maybe he doesn't love it, but he loves that he can take care of business on his phone. He also really enjoys videos games, on his phone and on Xbox and Playstation. And seriously, texting each other has really helped us communicate better about schedules and kids and life.

But parenting with all the electronics? Yeah I don't love that. I do not love seeing my kids get sucked into their electronics and not look up when I speak to them. I don't like to see them have that whole "addicted" type of I-have-to-get-to-my-electronic-device-no-matter-what attitude, or the zoned-out, I've-stared-at-a-screen-too-long face.  Nope, I do not love any of that at all.

Honestly, my kids aren't even on their electronic devices that much compared to some kids and families (yeah, you know those families that make us feel better about ourselves, lol). We are sort of strict. Two out of four of my kids have phones but no social media* yet. They have to leave their phones in the kitchen every night at bedtime. The younger two kids love the tablet and ipad and Xbox. But the amount of time my kids spend on any electronics is really starting to bother me. Annnnnnd holiday break is in two days and I don't want to be yelling empty threats about banning electronics every other minute. So, what do we do?

*This post isn't even about all the social media yuckiness and  those issues that happen with tweens and teens. That's a whole other topic. 

Poor Peyton has gotten a little more into his phone lately because of his broken leg. But he's getting a lot better and so his time on his phone is getting cut too. No excuses!

For the break, we are considering a sign-in/sign-out system with a, wait for old-school pencil and piece of paper. Yup. Just like the stuff the Super Nanny suggested a million years ago on her TV show, "set up a routine and a schedule" for kids. Remember the Super Nanny? I liked that show. 

The idea is 30-minute time slots for Electronic Time, or ET, during the morning, afternoon and evening. That is plenty of time right???

The kids may not love it, but at least they will understand the expecations and there will be some rules and guidelines.

I'm hoping this system/schedule/routine will lead to clearer minds, and eyes looking up, and less fighting. I'm hoping this will lead to full hearts, and kids appreciating the electronic devices when they do play with them but not being dependent on them. I'm hoping for a can't-lose Christmas/Holiday Break miracle. 

Clear Minds, Full Hearts, Can't Lose---the line borrowed from one of my favorite TV shows of all time, Friday Night Lights, is my new How To Manage Electronic Devices During Christmas/Holiday Break mantra.

(click here to  watch and be inspired!)

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