It’s definitely my number one pet peeve for 21st century kids and parents. I just cannot stand watching families eat their Sunday lunch at restaurants while every family member is on their phone. And, I find it ultra-annoying that parents allow children to have their device anytime they have to wait, at the doctor, at the restaurant, or even during a church service.
But, I do get it. It’s just so easy. And, I too get preoccupied with keeping busy around the house while Brody wastes hours on early weekend mornings. To feel less guilty, I remind myself that he hasn’t played video games all week. And, it does allow for some quiet time and sibling separation. Slowly, as the school year gets more and more tiring, I get lazier and less aware of the 30 minute rule that I know is best.
So, today after an hour and a half or so, I told Brody he was done for awhile. He needed to do some other stuff and stay off the devices and t.v. for the rest of the morning. Then, I left to go running. When I returned awhile later, I was pleasantly surprised to find both of my children happily baking away in the kitchen.
Yes, that’s right. Both of them, as in together , and happily. It did surprise me too! And, not only were they baking but they were baking a cake they found in Southern Living from scratch!! That’s something I might do every 5 years, at best! And although the kitchen was destroyed, they were so proud to see it actually rising in the oven while also filming their cooking show!
In fact, while they waited, they decided to get their stuffed animals to show them how to ice the cake. They continued chatting and cooperating (yes, I just said that too!) while proudly icing their cake. They served Bo and I up a piece of fresh, warm, and edible chocolate cake. Yum!
But, had I not made Brody get off the Ipad, he’d still be sitting there brain-dead, isolated from the rest of the family. If I hadn’t just told him no more, he wouldn’t have been able to call himself “responsible” for doing his poop-duty chore before lunch! If I hadn’t been the parent, I wouldn’t have been able to just enjoy a piece of fresh cake.
When we stop using technology to fill our time, we can actually have time to be creative. And, I know not all kids will choose that on their own. That’s why it’s better to have them feel unhappy about having to stop because in the long-run they’ll feel happier,prouder, and have a chance to build other skills (including interacting with others) instead. Yes, we all have those days we just need the break but it’s too easy to make it a habit. I want more for my kids. Don’t you?