Thanks to my childhood friend Liz L., for sending her friend’s article, “The 12 Step E-Tox,” recently published in Working Mother. We’ve all heard of the detox trend, but this is a parenting cleanse, as Adina Kalish Neufeld writes, a way to tune out your technology so you can tune IN with your family. I’m guilty as charged, but have tried to put the phone down when the kids are around. Meal time is definitely a “no phone zone,” and our boys know we’ll take the phone away if we catch them texting during precious family time.
Adina has lots of great tips that liken technology addiction to any vice, so it starts with admitting there’s an issue and deciding where to start. I’ll share some quick highlights but do recommend you check out the full article. Adina recommends you
- take a personal inventory
- exercise more
- set car rules
- be realistic and allow for regression (but “keep your parole officer conscience on your shoulder”)
- find a new normal
And for kids, she recommends…
- eat gadget-free
- set boundaries
- let them be bored
Love that last tip – we’re so inclined to be constantly entertained, that we sometimes grab for the electronics ourselves or hand them to our kids too quickly.
And if Adina’s tips don’t convince you, I bet the testimonials from her kids will…