90 Minutes of No Phone

“Daddy, can I play a game on your ’puter?”

We’ll hear this at least once a day from our oldest daughter. What it means is “Daddy, can I play on your iPad for a bit because I’m just three and already have a bit of an addiction.”The reason for this addiction is in part because her parents, us, are addicted to their gadgetry. It’s far easier for us to pick up our phones and pretend we’re so important that people must be emailing us at all minutes of the day than it is to admit we can go hours without anyone really needing us. This doesn’t make us bad patents, it makes us parents in an uber-digital age.So, to battle the addiction as best we can, we’ve implemented a no phones from 5:30 to 7:15. At night of course. To the less addicted it might not seem like much, but to those who are sweating thinking about it, you’ll understand the challenge.

It’s fun to eat without checking Twitter or playing Hungry Hippos without pinning anything. And then when the kids are in bed, we’re welcome to verify that only marketers found us important enough to get in contact with.

There is plenty of value of giving the kids access to the iPad. There are hundreds of apps that help them learn numbers, letters, colouring, animals, you name it. But there’s a fine line between using technology to teach and allowing it to turn your child into a drone.

Although maybe it would be neat to have a C3P0 at home. Meh.

Mike is an Ottawa born-and-raised husband and father of two. He’s obsessed with making sure his daughters says ‘daddy and mommy’ and not ‘mommy and daddy’ and with ensuring his daughters know they’re both one-of-a-kind.

  • Marie

    Oh Mike you have no idea what you are in for. This generation of kids is so different and I truly believe that we as parents have no idea how harmful all these electronics are to them. You are bang on in that we have to lead by example. Just the other day I was speaking to one of our psychologist at CHEO about teens and phones and she made me realize something…I went home that night and talked with my 13 yr old about it (by the way our rules is no phone until grade 9). The issue – watching tv as a family and him scrolling through his ipod the entire time. I said “enough!” When you watch tv, you watch tv. There will be no double dipping on the electronics. Seriously! We have to draw the line somewhere. CHEO psychologists also stress no electronics when going to bed. I now take the ipod from him when he goes to bed and it charges on my docking station in my bedroom.

    • It really is wild. When I was seven or eight my fancy gadget was a flashlight I used to read Care bear books well into the night. When the batteries ran out it was time to sleep.