It is not bad to be unplugged

Elke week schrijft een moeder over haar ervaringen met het ouderschap. Deze week de kijk van Carol op (het gebruik van) alle huidige social media en de technologische gadgets.


When you are a busy parent many times you put your kids in from of technology like television, tablets, etc, to distract them to give yourself time to do something at home or simply to relax. I have noticed that most of us do it and it is very understandable that in our busy world we use these tools around our kids to give ourselves some space.

What I have observed, at least with my two kids, is when they use the tablet or TV this makes them quite nervous and they get extremely upset when I take the distraction from them. I might get an hour or even 2, to prepare dinner, clean the house or drink a cup of tea, but certainly after that time, I also get an explosion of angriness because the nice distraction is gone. Then, I regret to have given them this easy entertainment instead of spending 15 minutes of quality time with them, playing something nice together and in this way bring them into a mood where they can later play themselves and I can get the time I need (I have also done this and it works perfectly).

By explaining this situation I am not saying I am completely against of using current technologies. I think TV and internet in general are very good tools for learning and doing cool things. Still, many times we don’t realize that doing this regularly affect all of us as family. It is impossible to do two things at the same time, and when we get very busy with our smartphones we put a lot of our energy in those little devices. Is this worth it? I guess not, and we can still use them but also get more disconnected from them. I am trying to do that and it is actually very difficult. Still, in my little battle, I have noticed that by using my smartphone less I have increased my concentration at work, I am more relaxed and actually I am spending more time with my kids. I have started drawing again and just talking to them about trivial but important things while doing this. I noticed they are also demanding less attention from me, somehow they are more relaxed and in the end me too.

I also noticed this on my husband. We have had many fights about this topic because he likes technology very much and all devices involved in here (TV, tablets, phones, etc). Still, he is making a huge effort to minimize his time on them. In most cases it is a waste of time because he is simply checking Facebook or useless things. I don’t know about his performance at work and whether this has improved because less use of his phone, but I do notice that he is more relaxed and less stressed.

I think all this distractions keeps us tired and stressed because we need to process a lot of information. The same effect has this on our kids and if we all manage to get technology in use for our best, we will get a profit of it without wasting our brains and time ☺.

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