Day 1 – Technology Challenge Follow-up

Before I set the two hour timer (actually it was a two and a half hour timer), I asked my husband / forced my kids to join me in the challenge. My husband laughed when I told him about it and said, “You’ll never survive that.” He wasn’t being unkind. He was being pragmatic. The only part of the statement that bothered me was his absolute sincerity and probable accuracy. However nothing motivates me more than someone telling me I can’t do something, so it was on like Donkey Kong!

The event started full of promise.  I had to tackle a jigsaw puzzle situation (yeah – I know – lame central but it has turned into a thing that will be explained later)  and the kids and husband bailed on me shortly thereafter. 

I played with the kids a bit and prepped dinner.  I also found time to read a book.  It was utterly luxurious.  Again – I know this sounds incredibly underwhelming, but I literally can’t remember the last time I read a book on a workday evening.  I have been working such crazy hours to the point that I sometimes work all night long. Until the sun comes up.  Not. My. Favorite. 

This was the first time I forced myself to shut down when wifi was still permitted and available. It was freeing. But…

But it was also extremely disconcerting. I lost count of the number of times I caught myself mentally reaching for my phone. I was bored.  Thank heavens for that book. I wanted to do fun stuff with my family, but they were excited to the level of “Eh” and maybe a little below that.  My husband had gone to work very early, so he basically slept through the whole gig. Challenge cheater.  I contemplated topics to write about and ran through my work to do lists in my mind.  The kids moved from super bored to rather annoying and made so much noise that I was afraid that they would wake my husband.  They spent a few minutes in their rooms and a few more doing the stairs (it’s my quick tactic when I need for them to clear out some of the frenetic kid energy).  The most disturbing moment was when the kids dashed for their own tech devices right after the challenge cutoff timer sounded. Their relief was palpable. 

What have I been teaching my kids by example? What have we been allowing and unintentionally maybe even encouraging them to do?  This was a challenge I set for myself, but I can already see the importance for my family, too.  

I knew that we needed to unplug more. I could see that we were doing a disservice to ourselves and our kids. However I grossly underestimated the importance of a couple of hours. I thought that we needed a bit of down time that might allow us to take a small break and enjoy the time together.  But in just one evening, I already realize that it’s much bigger and much more important than I had initially perceived.  I’m curious to see what the next evening will bring.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. traceyr1984
    Jun 28, 2017 @ 12:16:36

    I have been steadily fighting the technology battle. What is working for this summer is my son and I spend the mornings doing our own things but after lunch the computers are off limits. We clean, run errands, play games, watch movies. We did crafts when he was younger. All stuff we do together. You have to have a plan. We sit down on Sunday or Monday and look at the week ahead and plan out the errands and what needs to be done around the house. It doesn’t work if you just wing it. They may complain about board games at first but they will come around. Let everyone take turns choosing (that includes you!). Your little one can partner with someone but I swear my son learned colors and numbers from playing UNO and Sorry! And you can always sweeten the deal (okay bribe) with the promise of ice cream or something after. And if the weather is decent you could leave the house. Go to a park or play badminton in the back yard. But the key is to have a plan.

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Jun 29, 2017 @ 20:17:07

      We love game night whenever we remember to do that. I still get the kids to do crafts with me, and thankfully, they seem to enjoy them. I’ve tried setting up a schedule but we never stick to it and this year has been extra bad with my crazy work hours. The tech break has been a very nice breather though. It is a challenge for me, but I’m enjoying it more than I would have thought. 🙂

      Reply

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