This week’s PostSecret included this gem:
I don’t think that was sent in by one of our kids. I wouldn’t go so far as to say our laptops are actually “destroying” the family, but this card definitely rang a bell. Hubs and I spend way too much time on our laptops, sitting side by side but ignoring each other, silently and aimlessly facebooking, dailykosing, youtubing… while the kids are at loose ends and the kitchen is a mess.
We do limit the kids’ screentime. Our rules have evolved over the years, but what’s working for our family right now is that the younger two are only allowed on weekends after chores are done. Artist Boy gets some extra time during the week since he does need to check email, etc., and it doesn’t seem to be interfering with his schoolwork. He gets to be on the computer during the half hour interval between the time he gets home from middle school and his sibs get home from elementary, and another half hour or so after they have gone to bed.
When we first instituted this rule, Hubs and I followed it as well. But we gradually started making more and more exceptions for ourselves, and after a couple of months or so we pretty much forgot we’d ever had any limits at all. Now, in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and going outside our comfort zone, we are making a fresh attempt to follow our own rules again. No screentime for us unless the kids are allowed too (or aren’t home to see us doing it). Which is why I am blogging right now at 6 a.m.
It is hard! Sometimes I feel it like an actual physical craving, that urge to get online. And it’s not like the alternative is so great, either. The time I’d normally spend at the computer, I’m now spending doing laundry and playing bingo with a six-year-old and serving home-cooked meals at appropriate hours. The one thing that really helps is knowing Hubs is going through the same thing. And seeing the results of his “free” time. He’s been doing plenty around the house, and last night he took the kids to the library after dinner.
Yeah, there are a million good reasons to limit our screentime. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.