In May I noticed my 15 year old was on his digital device way too much. He had a smart phone/cell phone. So it was in his pocket all the time and I would catch him watching You Tube videos when he was supposed to be doing homework, etc. I could see things were just going downhill. That it was becoming an addiction. I had worked so hard to help my boys avoid addictions, limiting TV, video games, etc. To see him going there was upsetting.
I prayed and realized it was time to take the smart phone away. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. We had a heart to heart with T1. We got him a dumb phone with an alphabet keyboard so he could still easily text. He agreed to give up the smart phone cold turkey, with the thought he would get it back with limits. We also took T2’s itouch away at that point, thought it would be beneficial for him too!
4 days later T1 THANKED ME!!!!!! I am not kidding. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be angry or resentful. But he thanked me. It is now December. He has chosen not to use his handheld digital device at all. He found our OLD ipod so he could listen to music, without distraction of apps. internet, etc. He texts his friends, but never goes on the iphone. Sometimes he will borrow mine to check the weather or something. But he is grateful.
I heard him yesterday telling a friend at church who was on an iphone playing a game (at church) and said, “I used to have a smartphone, but my parents took it away because it was too distracting.” I don’t even know if the other kid heard him. But I know that T1 is GLAD, because once he disconnected from his phone, he was able to have time to do real connecting.
Moderation is key.
My 13 year old, got his itouch back after a week or so. But with the limits I described above. And he is on it definitely less than an hour a day. He has a dumbphone that he texts friends on. He is satisfied and I can see with the limitations of plugging it in when you are not using it instead of slipping it in your pocket help amazingly!
So, I hope this helps you if you are giving your children digital devices for Christmas or if they already have them. It is never too late to make changes! Protect your children!!!!!