Media Detox: Day 19,20,21

Jetlag has me up at 4:20am, as I write this catch-up post on the last three days of our family Media Detox. Although we had to finish off this Detox in separate continents, it was still a fulfilling sense of accomplishment to start something and finish off well.

The last three days were easy for us because we had so much going on that we had no time to think about the Detox. I was in Africa and my husband was holding the fort as a single parent with a hectic life. I remember calling slightly frantic days after the Detox when I realized that in the busy time we had not yet discussed our ‘After Detox Media Plan’. I had pictures of the kids vegging  out in front of the screen to catch up on 21 days of no screen time. To my surprise calling after several days of the Detox revealed that there was simply no time for that. I am hopeful that we are gliding into something new.

This weekend we will be discussing as a family what we each learned and gained from the Media Detox. I am keen to hear everyone’s insights. The kids will also be getting a dollar for every journal entry they made during the journey and we will go out and celebrate together.

Media Detox Day 9 and 10: Orientation

I am reading a book by Dr. Neufeld called “Hold on to your kids”, in which he encourages parents to show up and be present in the lives of their children. Dr Neufeld highlights how attachment with our kids and staying close provides the context and foundation for parenting.

I agree with this entirely, however for me healthy parenting begins from a deeper place.  It’s the unseen realm of intimacy with God, a closeness to Him that sets one securely on an immovable foundation and orientation. I am able to live out and express the love of God and unshakable truth about who I am and who we are as a family, from this relationship.

I am one of those people who can rarely keep life in control. I have tried and failed dismally. It does not work. Adding kids to the mix of an imperfect people,us parents, who have no control over the future as well, requires some serious orientation and grounding. Thus building on Christ as our firm foundation is my daily prayer and pursuit.

We all have things in our lives that we sometimes attach to. It may be our work, what people think of us, even the fear of failure. These attachments and our relationship to them can easily steal life from our key relationships. And they can try to shape who we are. The things that preoccupy our hearts and compete for our affections may not be bad in themselves but taking stock every now and then is an awesome way to recalibrate and set them in their right place.

This Media Detox is helping me see ways in which our relationship to Media and all that screen stuff can be be put in their proper place. It’s also helping us give attention to our true orientation, first to God as parents and then flowing out to our family.

 

Day 1 of Media Detox: Incentives

Day 1: Sunday

To be honest, neither the kids nor we are excited about this detox. No tv, no Facebook, no games, no you-tube, for 21 days. Kids were not jumping up and down, and were clear about how boring they know this is going to be. The journaling idea is a hit today though. I made them personlised journals and even our five year old is excited to “write” in it. In the end he drew his own pictures.

For today’s entry I gave them a “voucher” for $1. No screen time+writing in journal =$1. So far it seems  to be getting a positive response.

So what did we get up to?

1) Sunday afternoon nap without anyone asking to play games afterwards.

And

2) Reading! Shocker! The kids read for 3 hours and then wrote in their journals.

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I had this thought the moment I saw them together like this: ” The farmer clears the ground and sets boundaries in order to plant his seeds”.

Day 1 has been encouraging and I am pressing on , despite the latest episode of Madame Secretary begging to be watched! Sac

Lets see what Day 2 will bring.