If you hadn’t read, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my decision to send my kids’ iPads off to “China” for some much needed repairs. Wink and a nudge. I was afraid my children were not getting the summer experience they so deserve and require and also concerned they were beginning to lack balance. The iPad was always on their mind. In a nutshell, they were addicted to those dumbass brain suckers and I was done. I am happy to report that I am very, very pleased with my decision.
First, let me clarify some things. A lot of people have asked me to specify what I mean by “device free”. Is TV allowed? What do I do when the kids are with their cousins or friends and they are on their devices? All good and fair questions. No, the TV has not been banned. Since we are in the throes of summer, there isn’t a whole bunch of time being spent in front of the TV anyway. However, if they decide to veg out, I am usually right there with them. Our current favorites are America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior and The Maya And Marty Show. As far as the peer question goes, I am not a complete lunatic. I pick my battles. They can sit and stare at someone else’s device if they so choose. It loses its luster real quick. Ultimately, my intent was to ditch the item that seemed to control their little minds. My gut was right.
Almost immediately, my little beasts became their old creative and industrious selves. Overnight, they were playing and creating and finding things to do they normally would not even consider. At least when the iPad was an option anyway. I have seen old things get dusted off and new and different things take hold of their ever developing minds. I myself have come up with a couple of doozies that were real crowd pleasers as well. Thus far, this experience has been a dream and I highly recommend it. Not counting yesterday. Yesterday I wanted to ship the both of them to China too.
So yeah, to say this was a good move is an understatement. I knew it would be positive, but even more than that, going device free has been an eye opener. I realize that when the device is completely removed from the situtation, children have no other choice than to look around for things to play with and do. That is exactly what has happened in my house and it has been positive for everyone. For two weeks, the Anderson twins have been busy. So busy I needed to share. My hope is if you were on the fence after reading the first post, perhaps these positives will push you over to take the plunge. Since going device free we have been having gobs of fun. Check this out!
Computer Demo – I always knew William was a hands on kind of a kid. He likes to work with tools and is quite curious. Ryan and I have had two computer towers we have been meaning to take the hard drives out of for months, probably more like years. I showed William what a hard drive looks like, handed him a screwdriver and away he went. I think he worked on that project for a total of four hours. He explored the innards of a computer and was floored by what one looks like on the inside. Who knows, perhaps that experience was the birth of the next Bill Gates. Anything is possible!
UNO – A favorite card game in our house and one that has been shelved for a bit. I heard the words, “Anyone want to play UNO?” Far different from, “Can I have my iPad?” Of course I dropped everything to try and kick both of their asses. I didn’t. Will is getting pretty crafty.
Hand Car Washes – I take no credit for this. It was all Mia. She and Will were hanging with their cousins. She asked if I thought that a car wash would be a good idea. I said, “Not good, great!” They all got their swim suits on, I handed them a bucket, some sponges and the entire bottle of soap, because I am cool like that, and away they went. The car never looked better and they only brawled with each other eleven times. Seriously, I will referee a car wash over iPad wars any day of the week. They sucked on freeze pops after to cool off and best part, my car shined like the top of the Chrysler building. #TwoBirdsOneStone
Water Balloons – Hours. My kids filled up balloons for hours. They gently filled an entire bucket of multicolored balloons all to be destroyed within minutes. Doesn’t that just scream summer? I think so.
Murals by Mia – We have a giant roll of paper. This roll has sat in the presence of my children, completely accessable for years. Never once was it touched by them unless it was encouraged by me. NOT NO MO HONEY! Mia unrolled a giant piece of paper, cut her desired size and has since started her creation. Don’t think for a moment this was over and done in the blink of an eye. OH NO! She’s creating a mural. Murals take time. Thank you Jesus.
Marbles – Remember marbles? Aunt Lolo was hanging with her niece recently and she popped for a giant bucket filled with marbles. In the not so distant past, weekend mornings usually meant the kids were left to their own devices. Literally. Mommy and daddy would sleep in a little. Not anymore. Mia got me up and we shot some marbles while I drank my coffee. I must say, I prefer that memory over sleeping in while my kids played on their iPads.
Road Trips Sans Devices – I saved the best for last. This past weekend Ryan and Will took a dudes trip to our favorite spot while Mia and I headed north to visit my bestie/her Godparents. Aside from her asking me repeatedly if we were there yet, the trip could not have been more pleasant. She colored. I popped a movie in the DVD player in our car. It was a dream. My little guy was living the outdoor life at Diamond Lake. There was no time for devices. He and his daddy were too busy fishing, boating and living the good life. It is possible to enjoy a trip and all that it has to offer without the GD devices. I did it. She did it. Will did it. So can you!
TSPeeps! This is a no brainer! Do it! And share your experiences right here, on the blog!
Love it. Live it. Share it.