Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We Put Our Kids On A 40 Day Electronic Time Out

The other day I was trying to have a conversation with my youngest teen... I could tell she was not paying attention to my words... She was more engrossed in the text messages she was receiving every few seconds... When I asked her to put her cellphone down - the excuses and bad attitude began... The "I'm only reading what my friend sent me... I'm not texting." Another popular retort is "My friend gets really upset if I don't text her back right away." give me a freaking break

Every night before I go to bed - I check on my girls.. The time will vary between 11 PM and 1 AM. Every night - they are usually sleeping by this time... Or so I thought... It's funny how my girls have started Facebook Walking after midnight... Don't they know that I can see their posts the next morning?? Really girls? They know they are not allowed on their computers after 10:00 PM... so they have been using their IPODS to Facebook.... Wherever there's a will... there's a way, right? So I had to specify NO FACEBOOK... NO TEXTING... NO ELECTRONIC ACTIVITY AFTER 10:00 pm!!!!

My youngest who has had straight "A's" her entire school career has been receiving bad grades since January... Why you may ask?? January was when she purchased her IPOD with her Christmas money.... The slide in grades is that dramatic and a very large cause for concern... The other day I walked in her room and she was on Skype with her best friend.. They were both doing "homework"... I had to literally bang my head against the wall with that one... Another popular thing that she does (my oldest too) is that - whenever something happens... It doesn't matter what it is... They have to drop what they are doing so they can "post their status" on Facebook..

My oldest teen's grades took a large dip at the beginning of the year when she started public high school... She was more interested in her texting than what the instructor was teaching... I had to put parental controls on her phone - that helped a little - until she came home and the electronic madness would start again.... Even now that she is being home schooled - I have caught her with her cell hidden in her shirt.. I caught her - because she kept looking back with a very guilty look on her beautiful face... Yep she was BUSTED...

Every time my husband or I turn around our girls were either texting, Facebooking, playing on their IPODS, or watching YouTube... Whatever happened to reading a book? Going outside and enjoying the outdoors? Playing a sport? Hanging out with friends without sitting next to each other and playing on their IPODS.. Yes, the other day - my young one had her friend over... They were sitting on the couch - not talking.. not communicating with each other.. They were too busy playing with their electronics... No wonder our society is going crazy..... The art of interpersonal communication skills is a thing of the past... Patience is no longer a virtue - especially because you can receive instant results via your phone, IPOD, and/or computer.... Kids no longer "talk" with their voices... with their facial expressions... they talk with their fingers flying across the microscopic key pad....

On Tuesday - we (the husband and I) said ENOUGH!!!! No more electronics for 40 days... Why 40 days? In the Bible - a lot of miraculous things happened in 40 days and we are hoping that the girls will realize how electronics were ruling their lives... I am praying that they will appreciate the written word (in a book - not a cell text)... Want to spend "family time" together... Talk to us.. To each other... Learn how to entertain themselves without electronic mindless therapy.... We have to stand firm on this...

It's a different way of life today than it was when I was growing up... and that's okay... But I have to say this... I want my girls to know how to function if the Internet went down.. If the cell phones fizzed out... Just think the Egyptian government was able to close off the entire country from the Internet.... That could happen here too.. couldn't it? I want my girls to know more... know how to get the answers to questions by using common sense... and not just their IPODS...

What are your thoughts on our kids and their electronic devices?

** image from Yahoo images


  1. I am going thru the SAME. Exact. Thing! My oldest (14) is without a cellphone now for 2 days, and she may as well be tied and gagged because she is that miserable.

    I think electronics are taking over the world. Sure, they are fun, but there should be a limit.

  2. I think kids are way too attached to their electronics. I say hooray for you!

  3. Wow this is powerful. Huge kudos to you and your husband! I agree with your decision. I hope you will share how it goes and what the outcome is. I'd imagine your kids aren't too happy right now.

  4. wow- 49 days..LOL have fun! Good Luck. Have a lot of fun doing things together!
    I think girls might be different than boys, in general. (I only have boys, so I'm just guessing)

    My thoughts, you ask?...
    My boys (14,16,17) do not have cell phones nor are they allowed to have computers in their bedroom (unless with specific permission).

    My oldest spends a lot of time on the computer, a lot of time he is learning a new computer programming language, working on his Computer Animation skills, going down a wikipedia Rabbit hole, writing programs. I still think it is too much time, but at least it's not just 'fluff'

    We have random "no Computer game" days. like I think tomorrow will be one..... We'll have a game playing day. 'real in person games'

  5. they had some Cribbage Tourneys at the convention,, but I didn't see Stratego- but a LOT of similar 2 player war games....

  6. Oh It's so different these days! Remember in our days when we HAD no cell phones? I wonder how we survived? ;)

  7. I think kids are way too spoiled in today's world. I am of a different generation. I was upset when they were allowed to use calculators instead of their brains in school! lol I have heard it said that the art of communication face to face will be long gone. kids will not know how to talk face to face to a person. what are your thoughts on this?

  8. This reminds me of this past Saturday when my son and I went out to lunch. We had a nice chat the whole time, his cell phone did go off but he didn't answer it. As we were leaving we saw a couple eating and both talking on their cell phone. I made a comment to my son that I was thankful that he wasn't doing the same thing to me and how sad it was that as a couple they found it more important to talk to someone on the phone than each other.
    My son told me it was down right rude and that he never talks on his cell phone or texts when he is in the company of friends.
    It made me proud!

  9. Doreen - funny that you asked that question.. Today my oldest wanted to know if she could text her friend happy birthday.. I said no but she could call her... "Calling is lame and weird" is what she said... gave me a great opportunity to talk to her about talking with teachers, co-workers, and friends face to face and making "real connections"... I have learned by watching my girls text is that "texting" is not real and can open the door for some very outrageous behavior...
    Thanks for dropping by.

  10. From what I read, it's not so much the iPods, texting, cell phone usage that you have trouble with. It's the hiding, deceiving and disobedience that you object to. If that's right then it's a heart issue and not a technology issue. Do they understand that? When they do, it will be 40 days well spent. Just my opinion and support.

  11. Oh I feel for you...Thank God my son is grown, or I would probably be right here with all of you ladies.
    Electronics are taking over the world.. it's sad in many ways.
    I also agree with you on the 40 days!
    Good Luck to you and your Family.

  12. When my son was in high school texting was just becoming available and it was EXPENSIVE!!!! Well, he got the first bill after the texting began and we could tell it was trouble when it came in an 11x13 envelope that was an inch thick!!!! Yikes! He had to pay for all of it and it took a long time at minimum wage to pay it.

    But Hey! This is not just for kids! We go to eat and my husband was constantly texting and e-mailing on his TWO Blackberrys. My nephew (34 years old) can't take his eyes off of his IPOD. I finally had to put my hubby on a timeout! I took his phones and put them on silent--just for meals. I mean, I was a realtor and president of the board of realtors and needed to be as accessible as anyone, but really, if they can't wait for me to eat in peace, well, I don't need to do business! So, he made it through a whole meal out at a restaurant and it was BEAUTIFUL! Granted, the moment we hit the door, he had a Blackberry in both hands, but Rome wasn't built in a day--and I might add--people who can't turn the ringers off on their cell phones in a restaurant, church, movie theatre, doctor's office, whatever, really make me want to write letters!!!!

    Sorry! I can really FEEL for you!



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