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Disconnecting from Technology
June 29, 2011 5:30 am | by

Unfortunately, today is not so much of an advice blog, but rather a confession and seeking advice from you. I have a confession to make, I LOVE technology. Big surprise, right? I am, after all, the social media coordinator. I’ve spent years of my life online in some capacity. I’ve always had a bit of an issue taking the time to disconnect from the online world and focus on the real world. These tendencies are only amplified by each new digital device that fits in the palm of my hand. The truth is, it’s not just the internet that is an issue, it’s texting and e-mail too.

It’s not just me either, my husband works in technology too, so were both available practically 24/7 and could work any hour of the day that is required. The problem is, we are beginning to see how it is affecting our children. It’s not unusual for me to find a child on the computer before 7 a.m. at our house, or to have to threaten discipline to get them to save their video game and shut it off at any given time of day. Video games aren’t really my thing, but since my husband grew up with them, it’s a passion he loves to share with our children. With technology creeping in to so many areas of our life in recent years, how do we carefully draw the boundary lines? Especially when it affects our parenting and our children’s future?
Clearly, if you are a blog subscriber or a Facebook follower, you spend a fair amount of your time online too. When your work revolves around technology, it takes it to a whole new level. My question for you today is, how do you disconnect? Do you set up rules for yourself, like you do with your children? Do you limit how many hours a day you are online? Let’s chat honestly about what technology means to us and our children today. What’s a healthy medium in 2011?

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.



  • Anonymous said...
    June 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I am online on/off all day. My LO 20 months old sees me at the laptop frequently and has all his life. It doesn’t mean I love him less or ignore him. We still play outside and read books. My hubby frequently checks his smart phone with our son around, no big deal, he likes the toddler apps for it. He has started to learn to “talk to grandma” by listening and responding on a phone.

    So you discipline by taking away video game time-that’s fine! If they were into something else then that would be what’s on the chopping block. Technology is the future, video games are harmless and there’s studies that prove it.

    My opinion is and will be when my kids are old enough that if they are healthy, doing well in their subjects at school and want to play video games or computer games or build stuff or play a sport or learn the piano then that’s fine as long as school comes first. I am sure that everyone raises their kids with different values and puts importance on different things, just do whatever is working for YOUR FAMILY! Don’t hold yourself to someone else’s standards.

  • emilie said...
    June 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I battle with this too. I am a wahm with an online business, so I also need to be aware of questions, sales, marketing etc. and I recently got an android phone which makes it even easier!
    i try to check emails early in the a.m. and only periodically throughout the day (at nap and after my hubby is home via my phone) I try to do the majority of my computer work at night, unless something requires my immediate attention. To avoid temptation to get online, I put my data notices on silent and leave the computer turned off.
    We do play online games (as a family) as well, but we limit that to a set amount of time every other evening or so and reserving certain nights for no computer time in the evening for anyone (but phone is ok hehe)
    And I know some parents are against computer use with their children, but we try to embrace it (in moderation) for eduction, research, and fun. Because really it is unavoidable and part of our lives and our childrens’

  • The Halbert Home said...
    June 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I need some help in this area too. I was ok until I got an IPhone and now I’m uber addicted.

  • Kellie said...
    June 29, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I can’t escape technology. Smartphone, Ipod with wireless, laptop, desktop. . . our house is simply always online. I do, however, make a point to respond to my kids’ requests to do things with them instead of be on the computer. If they ask to read books, I’ll usually stop what I’m doing and give my attention to them. Exceptions are when I’m replying to important emails or when I am working on grading assignments or papers online. I have also set a timer for myself and children–if I just need a few minutes of down time and want to spend it online, I tell the kids that mommy gets 10 minutes and set the timer. When it goes off, I’m done regardless of whether I’m in the middle of something or not. I also try to reiterate to my kids that they are always more important than anything I’m doing online. It’s hard, though, and this is a good topic for today.

  • Katherine C said...
    June 29, 2011 at 9:20 am

    My only child is only two, so I haven’t had to worry about how I will keep her access to technology limited yet, but I have thought about it. My daughter hates the TV and my laptop. The only thing on TV she likes is Sesame Street, if anything else is on, she turns it off. If me or her dad is using the laptop, she will come over and close it. We have to get her distracted with something else (food, toys, etc) before we can surf, and this really helps us limit ourselves. I worry that when she is older she will want to be on the computer 24/7, like I did when I was in middle school, like her dad is now. My plan is to limit what she is allowed to do on the computer more than how much time she can spend on it. Technology taught me a lot in my life and it will teach my LO even more. Remembering the hours I spent with “Talking Books” as a child makes me feel good about the influence technology will have on my daughter’s life.

  • Gnat said...
    June 29, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I try not to use my ipod, phone, computer or tv in the hour and a half or so after work before my daughter goes to sleep. We play, bathe, and spend quality time together. I also try to disconnect during her awake times over the weekend. I spend so much time online during work and when I blog or podcast that I really want to focus on her when she’s awake.

    Thanks for the post!

  • Jill said...
    June 29, 2011 at 5:47 am

    All I have is a laptop, no smart phone, nothing like that. I try and do most of my online stuff before my daughter wakes up– realize that this is the way I get my ‘adult’ talk or ‘girl’ talk on– facebook with friends, reading blogs, etc. I don’t have a lot of IRL friends nearby, so online and church once a week are my ‘outlets’. I’ve been trying all along to get my 2.5 year old to play by herself, and sometimes she does, but sometimes, she says ‘mommy, close your laptop’.. or ‘I need to be loved on your lap’ — this is as baby #2 is approaching and I’m sure she just wants reassuring. I put the computer down and hug her until she doesn’t need any more! Otherwise, after she’s awake, I check the computer periodically between chores– the hardest thing is entering giveaways, because it’s hard sometimes to keep things straight. Most stuff I can just put down, but once I get going on a giveaway, it’s hard to stop, or I tend to get lost as to what entries I’ve already done. Bummer! I think I do better than a lot of people since I don’t always have a smart phone in my hand, however, I could probably do better, esp. in regards to doing things like entering giveaways– doing them while she’s napping for instance instead of as soon as I see them!