Just when you thought you got parenting all right but actually doing it all wrong. Hurting not yourself but the future of your kids.
I remember the first time we got an iPad. It was a gift from my sister and all we can think about is how cool it was to own one. It instantly became my daughter’s companion! I also remember the time I got my first touch screen phone, it was awesome! I wasted no time playing with it and treating it as if it was a baby. Then the time my husband got his first iPhone was also a history for us. He fell in love with it and used it non stop.
What do we all have in common? Obsession with screens.
We were those parents who would use the television, the iPad or iPhone to shut the kids up because it was convenient for us to see our kids tied to our bed just watching their favorite shows or playing their favorite games. We were so scared to take away the devices because we don’t want them to cry or get bored. Well guess what? They still cry and they still get bored no matter how many devices we give them.
My husband and I are well aware of the screen time rules for kids and would sometimes become advocates of it but still fall short because as parents, we just can’t stand the craziness at our house that we’d rather give them a proxy for our attention than lose our sanity. It was very selfish.
Until we’ve come across It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies.
For so many years we have been facing the same issue with our daughter. She’s very much into her iPad or our mobile phones that she would stay up late at night and if we try to take it away from her she would just throw a tantrum. I also had troubles teaching her reading because she would refuse to study and would cry a lot.
But we must become intentional parents. We must care for them more than our sanity because if not, they will just pass this on to future generations. And what do we do to solve addiction? Rehabilitate.
Before rehab, our daughter is very impatient, she has poor motor skills, she would disrespect us, you cannot expect her to care for her younger brother.
The first thing we did was to let her know what we read in the article above. We explained to her what screen devices are doing to human brains and how much it affects our body, most importantly our attitude. Then we took away her privilege in using our phones, which she herself agreed to do. Luckily, the iPad that we own is very old and outdated so she just got tired of using it.
After rehab, she became bored a lot. Sometimes I would catch her just staring in the ceiling doing nothing. Which they say is very good. Why? Because boredom paved the way for her to become better in a lot of things!
She now knows how to wait and stay calm…
Her motor skills improved and she became more interested in learning…
She volunteers in helping me with chores…
She became like a mother to her brother, caring for him like I would and being the best friend she could be for him. She would also think of other fun creative ideas while playing…
One time she asked me to pray and tell God how thankful she is to have a baby brother. She became very outspoken about the love she is feeling for everyone in our house.
And the best part is, she experiences how it is to be a kid— messy but fun!
I won’t lie to you. They still use screens sometimes because we don’t want them to be naive. We are not raising cavemen in our home! We still want them to experience the goodness of technology but with restrictions. Like in a day they only get 2 hours use of devices not because we told them so but because they’d rather be kids than a psychotic junkie. After all, they will have plenty of time to abuse the technology when they become older and very little time being kids.
Just when you thought it is impossible to change our children’s future, the change has already started. This might be the best decision we’ve ever done this year. Character was saved, relationship was restored!