Oliver, 7, is using his iPad far too lately, going from playing a game here and watching a YouTube Kids video there, to what feels like a full-blown obsession with tech which is affecting us all.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic but I’ve had enough of the kid’s mood swings too much screen time seems to elicit so I’ve taken action and have decided to ban computer-use bar homework, during the week.
Xander, 5 rarely uses any tech, even if he’s invited to, opting for cuddly toys, his train set or for Mummy and Daddy to read to him, over computers and even telly.
I’m sad that Oliver rarely picks up a toy these days, and whilst he adores reading, he seems to favour the fast-fix computer games seem to bring over books and I want him to regain his love of literature.
Don’t get me wrong: tech is both educational and empowering but too much of it, as with adults leaves the kids frustrated and frazzled. There is of course a place for tech: it helps when it comes to entertaining little ones and whilst I’m not against it, I simply need to regain control over it and Oliver’s use again.
I want Oliver to wind down after school before a bit of homework and dinner, and making him go cold turkey means it’s not up for debate and he’ll no longer lunge for the iPad the minute he walks through the door!
I want him to reconnect with his imagination and get used to being bored, for that’s where creativity is borne.
It’s not his fault, I’ve used tech many a time to keep him occupied, and will do again no doubt, but I’m weaning him off the iPad to restore a sense of calm in all of our lives. Oliver’s not a naturally ragey child like the Mike Teavee from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory he’s become recently so it’s time to get back to his bubbly, chatty, caring and thoughtful self we see when he’s not on the computer.
So, here’s to more chilled evenings during the week, and monitored tech-time on a weekend.
I’m taking my own advice too and switching off earlier at night to help aid sleep as that pesky blue light that fights melatonin has a lot to answer for.
Have you tried a digital detox for your kids or yourself?
How did it go and did you see a difference?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.