Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twelve Tips to Take a "Technology Timeout" This Holiday Season

I love the internet. I mean, after all, how else do I expect you to find me and read this blog? However, it's the holiday season, it's supposed to be that time of year that you spend with your family and friends. Do you find technology to be a bother during the holidays? How about every day? Here's some tips from my friend, Adrianne, on how you can take a Technology Time Out with your family this holiday season.

As with most families this day and age, mine is no different when it comes to being a bit too involved with technology. I use the word technological loosely; because, to be honest, to some people, a manual can opener can be considered technology.  Internet, television, whether it is cable, or an internet TV service, hand held gaming devices, and even GPS are wonderful things, but they can also be all-consuming. We are on one income so going and doing isn’t always an option for us, but we do have some favorites for spending time together at home that don’t require electricity of some sort.

We have two young girls. They are awesome and our main motivation in trying to entertain ourselves as well as them without today’s technological devices. We have days sometimes even several in a row of  “TV –free days.” No television at all. We take a technology time-out.  Some days are harder than others, but I make it a point to go 3-4 days a week of the television not coming on at all. When it does come on it usually for no more than an hour and a half. That is only because having an age span of five years between the girls, I have to make sure they’re watching age appropriate shows.  At times there are tantrums, tears and even slamming doors sometimes. 

However, while I think TV can be fun and even educational. It should not raise my girls nor is it more important that my girls using and strengthening their imaginations.  

However, we read. We are huge readers, all of us. We have well over three hundred books in this house. I love it. I love that when we go places my girls want books as souvenirs usually. My seven year old is more interested in what the educational signs at the zoos and aquariums we have visited say than the actual animals. 

We also have a plethora of board games that even we parents enjoy. I am so excited that my youngest is finally at the age that we can start playing board games with her. It’s great. It teaches so many different social interactions and guess what? It doesn’t require a hand held device, it doesn’t require internet. All it takes is about an hour and we get to relax and enjoy each other. My husband has even gotten me to play a certain strategic fantasy themed collectible card game. It was a bit painful at first, because I am not patient nor am I good loser. It’s weakness of mine. My husband was determined to teach me though and you know, it was good fun and I actually enjoy the time I spend glaring at him for annihilating me with a single card haha!!

Another thing I absolutely love doing, as do my girls is various crafts. There are craft websites all over the place. To include blogs dedicated to cheap, easy, and fun crafts for various age groups. We do all kinds of crafts from diy kinetic sand to hand & foot print art. I had to buy a small craft cabinet to store all of my girls’ paints, glitters, glues, coloring mediums, etc. I love it. Ten or twenty minutes for them to be kids. Messy, funny kids who are broadening their imagination and learning.  Upon occasion it even provides me a slight reprieve from being a stay at home mom. A few minutes for me to clean up, or to just sit and enjoy a minute of peace.

One obstacle for husband and I is smart phone usage. We went a few years of having basic phones as an attempt to curb our attachment to all things “technological” and to save a bit of money on those cray-zay costs of data plans.  Going with basic phones was actually great for the time it lasted, but then my husband’s job became a bit more demanding in various ways and it was time for an upgrade, and I hopped on that train, too. Still, we put forth great efforts to minimize the amount of time we spend with our heads buried in different technology. We have slipped a bit with our recent phone purchases, but we had already discussed that and have a plan.

Our plan? We are trying to only use the internet on our laptops. That sounds silly, but I almost always have my phone with me as opposed to my laptop. Our hope it will reduce the amount of time we waste online.

How about you? How do you curb technology use? Join in on taking the Technology Timeout Challenge! 

 Take the Tech Timeout pledge

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  1. I agree that the holidays should be when you spend quality time with family. It's difficult though. We are all so used to constantly checking our emails, returning texts, etc. It's also hard if they get a knew tech device for Christmas! I think games are a nice way to spend days together. I'm a big reader but my oldest daughter is starting to get into it since we got her a Kindle and my little one is a bit young yet.

  2. Yes , I agree . But the evolution of life is so like that :) Merry Christmas

  3. It's Christmas!Forget what you do not want to do for a moment....if kids want to make selfie every seconds -OK!Have fun and pe happy!I think games are a nice way to spend days together too....Merry Christmas!

  4. Parents today really do have a challenge to balance tech with real face time. My kids are grown but not that old, my son is 24 and they didn't have all of these tech things and I'm glad but now you never see the kids faces, they're always looking down in their phones or ipads. Kudos to you for trying to balance that with real family time. All of the tips are great ideas to foster closer family interaction.

  5. I agree with you that electronics should not "raise" children. That is something that happens to often now a days. I only hope that more parents read this post and make some changes.


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