I’m writing this on my trusty laptop, taking full advantage of the helpful apps for spelling and grammar checks, while my iPhone is nestled safely at my side, just in case my kids or husband should need to get hold of me at a moment’s notice. Not all technology is bad—it can enrich our lives in many ways. Hang tight while I zap my cold coffee for a few secs in the microwave. You get my drift…
I’m certainly not suggesting we dump all the helpful tools in our life, but what if we were more disciplined in our use of these tools?
Tools are neither inherently good nor bad. Take a hammer, for instance, we use it to put a nail in the wall to hang a picture—great—we violently wield it in a long grocery line—no bueno. I just saw something recently that emphasized the increased dangers of people engaging in “distracted walking.” Not distracted driving, mind you but plain old walking! People are so focused on their phones now, that they don’t even take a break while strolling the streets. Consequently, in increasing numbers, they are totally missing impending dangers like curbs and oncoming traffic. Are we using the tech tools in our life for good or are we creating more problems by losing sight of their purpose?
What if we all chose to reject the extraneous tech that often results in draining our brains while potentially rocking our family’s foundation of character? Not feeling particularly motivated? Remember, it only takes a couple of amazing intentional families to create a movement. You’re not a family of character for nothing! Let’s set the tone for 2022 instead of having the topsy-turvy world set it for us.
3 Simple Tips You Can Enact Today to Limit Tech in 2022:
Here’s a Truth Bomb Nugget: We won’t be able to curb our children’s technology unless we are modeling healthy limits as adults. So, let’s start with some adult non-negotiables on the road to recovery.
Establish Tech-Free Zones
Boundaries are the best help when we’re trying to tap into more self-control. Consider making certain rooms in the house tech-free. Maybe the bedrooms and dining room/kitchen. Anywhere it kills bonding, communication, and genuine downtime, leave it out! It’s great to establish a docking station where devices are set when people come home, just like keys. The bonus is when the phone rings, you can find your phone quickly. Meanwhile, you’re signaling to your family that they are a priority over the barrage of digital distractions.
Rely on Books for Answers, or Let it Go!
We are living in the so-called information age, so we’re all obsessed with finding answers—and fast! But it may be hurting us in the long run. Talk about killing a sense of wonder. Instead, have some reference books at the ready: dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, history/ science encyclopedias. Instead of taking the easy way out, delay instant gratification, and seek the answers in a book. It can help us discern what’s really necessary for our personal enrichment—actual knowledge as opposed to useless info. I’m sorry, but knowing the year the Olsen twins were born, or how many seasons of Friends there are—not so much! When we rely on google for the answers to these pointless questions, we deny our brains the necessary ability to run through what it knows. Have you ever wondered something and then hours later, it pops into your head? That’s because our amazing brains (when actually engaged) continue cataloging all those insignificant facts stored up and come up with answers in due time. We are not even conscious of the cataloging going on. So, our brains get a healthy workout even when researching insignificant matters. Use the original Google that God gave you!
New Hobby, Anyone???
Here’s a tip you can take to the bank—scrolling on your phone does not classify as a legit pastime. Yet, that’s how we spend too much of our downtime. But reading books, playing music, cooking, conversing, crafting, learning a language, art, writing… they all count as real hobbies. But whatever you choose, go organic. In other words, if you choose reading, avoid reaching for the Kindle—another device. While you’ll actually be reading, you haven’t mentally untethered from the tech. Establish hobbies that engage more of your brain—so use your hands and senses as much as possible. For example, rather than tapping away on the computer, journal with pen and paper. (Psst… if you’re looking for fun journaling opportunities—our Adventure into Character kits come equipped with thought-provoking journals designed to unplug while honing a particular character strength—like gratitude, forgiveness, respect, and more. Find out more here.) No matter what you choose, just make sure your pastime is unplugged.
Next week, we’ll focus the blog on how to cut down on screen time overload for your kids. Look for some common sense self-control suggestions that will help you reclaim your kids’ amazing character. Instead of “No-Brainer” tips, we’ll be doling out FULL-Brainers! Until then, break free from the tech chains that are entangling your plan and purpose. You’ve got this, mom & dad!
If you have an issue you’d like our help with, drop us a line at Hello@FamiliesofCharacter.com. If you’re experiencing a problem, chances are thousands of other families are in the same boat. We’re ALL in this parenting boat together!
Remember to tap into our Thrive Community on Facebook. It’s free and our team’s very own clinical counselor offers helpful tips and encouragement to parents who are adventuring together.