On a previous post I wrote about the first step in setting up a family’s media diet, which is incorporating a weekly Electronic Day.
I’d love to hear your feedback about that. Meanwhile, I want to continue with my story…
Our Electronic Days were implemented and working great, almost ideally. Everyone followed the rules but – and this is a big but – as the kids got older, then came the personal mobile devices.
We started with smart phones, because they were, for us, safety tools for essential communication. I could reach them when I needed to, and they could always reach me; It wasn’t long, however, before the kids started to abuse it:
“Mom, I’m just texting my friend.”
“Mom, I need to check my homework.”
“Mom, it’s a cool game, and everyone in my class has it”
“I’m in the middle of a battle!”
Me: “What battle? Oh, the (app) one on your phone…”
“Mom, I’m going to sleep soon, just one thing…” – at 2 a.m. in the morning!!!
We all know why (or at least one reason why) those little devices are being abused, and it’s hard to control that. Our kids spend too much time on those devices. And let’s face it, we are not “on” our kids 24/7, so we can’t (and most of us don’t want to) monitor every move they make; they need to learn to make the right choices on their own.
So what can we do – besides taking the phones away for good or switching to a “dumb” phone?
Simple. Find it a “Home.”
We set a place where we put all personal mobile devices to be charged and stored. That’s their “Home.”
Choose this location wisely. Make sure it’s a common location;
Why a common location? Because they will think twice before abusing electronics knowing everyone sees them doing that.
You can decide what works for you: the living room, the dining room. For us, it’s the kitchen…. As long as it’s a common location. When the kids get home, they place their mobile devices there. Now, when they try to abuse them (for example by sneaking one away when they shouldn’t), we know, and we can decide what to do about that.
I even took this concept to the next level and bought a charging station. We have iPads, mobile phones, Kindles – you name it – and all are charged and stored there.
A new “Home” for the personal devices with the excuse of charging can go a long way. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you.
In the meantime, be well and experience life!
Tali, Team Screen