I don’t mean “tech’ed” out necessarily in a progressive way. We as working moms do tend to be on the leading edge of technology and constantly engaged with the newest gadgets…but that is not always a great thing. Yes, our careers and supervisors may depend on us to always be able to check. Yes, there are times I have needed to login from home to check on a patient. Yes, I do truly appreciate being able to check my work email at a second’s notice…but what do your kids notice?
Are you always in touch with the office and replying to each email? Does your boss know how to get ahold of you right away? Do you have a hard time not checking your email? Or do you use all of that technology to “relax” in front of your kids?? Sometimes it’s easy to shut yourself off from the office…but then jump on Pinterest or Facebook as soon as you get home.
It is not always easy for me to turn off all of the technology around my kids but I have been really trying to make a concerted effort to be in the moment and make sure my kids know that technology has a place and time. It’s not to say that I haven’t worked on a blog post while my kids are still up or checked my email while my kids are eating their snack…but I want to set a very good example of having a good, old-fashioned game of chase or read an actual paperback book…without having my phone vibrate every time I get a new email.
This is yet another beautiful example of having a good bedtime and routine. Once my kids are in bed I really do have at least 2 hours…so blogging and pinning really can wait a few more hours. We also stick to limits and often require our kids to “earn” computer or tv time. We don’t pull out our phones at every appt to occupy them, and I have seen our kids’ imaginations soar by having to create their own pretend play. I have also seen their attention spans slack and attitudes rear up when we loosen up on the games and shows. One of my biggest pet peeves is to hear kids whine unrelentlessly for iPhone time or totally check out while playing on an iPad. Honestly my kids rarely ask to play on any devices and tossing a football has become way more fun than Angry Birds. I think this is also in large part due to the examples they have seen us set. They know that I will almost always stop what I am doing to let them climb in my lap to read a book. I don’t know if I’ve ever turned a request down to go for a bike ride.
So next time you are tempted to pull out your phone to see if you have a reply from your last email sent as you were leaving work or veg out on pinning a few supper recipes…opt for actually playing down on the floor. Even cleaning up can be a blast. One of our favorite “I’m bored” games is the Rainbow Game. I call out a color and they have to run and find a toy of that color or description (shiny, round, striped, etc). There’s not an App for that!!