Weeks ago, I came home from work to find my daughters completely immersed in “screen time.”
Screen time is commonly known as time spent on any electronic: TV, computers, tablets, hand held video games and even cell phones.
Josie, (aka Instagram Queen), was on my iPad scrolling and commenting on various pictures. Scroll, comment, scroll, comment. Ava was on her laptop watching YouTube videos of past and present winners of The Voice. They hardly looked up as I put my things away, changed my clothes and started dinner. I asked them how their day was, what happened in school…and they responded with grunts and monosyllabic answers: “Good, fine….” I noticed that I had to nudge and then nag them to practice violin, something they used to do more willingly.
So I made a decision. With husband’s agreement (it won’t work if only one parent is enforcing it), I decided to confiscate and hide all electronics until violin practice and homework had been completed. Do you know how hard it is to hide an 84″ flat screen TV? It worked. Ava completed her homework and violin practice and then played catch with Opal in the street. Josie completed all of her work and then picked up dog poo from the backyard! They conversed with me and I learned that Ava is very fond of her new friends Lucy and Caroline at school and Josie is frustrated that her math went from an A to a B.
Ahhhhhh! I had my family back! It felt mean and terrible to do, but I’m their mother, not their friend. I cannot allow them to become Screen Time Zombies in lieu of communicative students and daughters. I encourage you to try this, at the very least, put pass codes on your devices (I did!) and don’t allow them screen time until the work is done.