How we disCONNECTED to connect

Some of what was confiscated!

So this week we endured, embraced, rallied and relished 48 hours of life that was technology free. Yes we had no television no internet, no computers, no iPad, no iPod, no xbox, no Wii and no social networking of any kind.  How did we go you ask? Well we did it, and for that I am pretty proud. Both of myself and my kids. Yes, first world problems I know, but online addiction can be a serious issue so I thought it fitting to try ourselves out and see if we were up for the challenge. Here’s what some of my kids said when I first brought this challenge to their attention. 11 year old: Why would we want to do that???? 10 year old: That doesn’t sound like a good idea at all 8 year old: No way….not happening Well suffice to say their early lack of enthusiasm was tempered with a dose of “bad luck its happening” .We did however settle on a compromise to undertake the challenge midweek. Here are some of the great things that this challenged encouraged:

  • I cleaned out another big packing box that could easily have stayed up the top of childs cupboard for at least another decade or so
  • we go out the “old fashioned” scrabble and played a few rounds…and used a really really old dusty dictionary to fight  discuss the legitimacy of words
  • I played with lots and lots of play dough
  • I read many many books to the toddler
  • I hung up some more pictures that had been lying around the house
  • I realised I have great skills in toddler distraction. Every time he asked me to watch something on the TV I had to quickly come up with another fun activity!
  • For the first time in a while I finished in advance my book group book
  • I got a lot more sleep. A bit like when you are on a diet and you go to bed just so you won’t eat anything….
  • the kids sat and spoke to me for a full 15 minutes when they came home from school

Some of the more challenging aspects of this challenge:

  • I played lots and lots of play dough
  • I had no idea what was going on in the world (could also be seen as a positive)
  • Walking without an iPod takes heaps longer
  • before bed I like to treat myself to some pretty pictures from instagram and pinterest…so I really missed that!
And here’s what the boys said when asked for a positive comment on their week disconnected:
11 year old: At least we got to go to the skatepark
10 year old: I like that we played a few different games
8 year old: really hard question mum

On the whole though there was an element of connecting with each other that is more likely to occur without the background noise and distractions. It also gave the boys a few different ideas about games to play and ways to spend their downtime that have continued through the week. And for me, whilst I still love my gadgets, I think it has enabled me to look at the ways I was using my time and hopefully will result in more effective time management. Here are some of the activities we did whilst disCONNECTED:

Spent a lot of time with this guy
Playing scrabble – the old fashioned way!

 

Lots and lots of play dough
Family fun!

 

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Good on you…great idea. My kids would say it was just like the olden days – which is not all bad.
    I’ll be trying this during the school holidays. Let’s see if I feel so enthusiastic after the event…x

  2. What a fabulous idea! We have disconnet time when we go camping and it is great. Six kids spending all day entertaining themselves with nothing but what they can find in the bush. Might have to give it a go at home as well

  3. Ooh this sun like a good, but hard idea. I honestly think I would really struggle.
    So maybe that means I should do it?

  4. Hmmm… tough challenge. I have been a lot stricter with myself but not that strict… Yet. My kids don’t watch tv really but they will jump on the iPad at any chance so maybe I need to set more limits with them. A weekend family deconnect to connect challenge sounds good. 🙂

  5. I think this is a fantastic idea. I already aim to have a few tech-free days for the kids a week…and now that we’re coming up to holidays again, I’ll try and enforce it more. For me – I’d really like to disconnect, but I’m studying at the moment, so it’s not really an option BUT I could limit my interaction with social media 😉

  6. I love this post! I stopped using my private FB page nearly 6 months ago and I felt a weight lift off my shoulder’s and spent miore time with my kids! Now I pick up the phone or send private, more intimate emails to my family & friends.

  7. Well done to you! I think spending time away from technology and with the kids is ever so important. I haven’t disconnected for 48hrs, however, I recently decided that going forward I’d have 1 day a week where I wouldn’t open the laptop or get on the iPad (my blog free day!) Fingers crossed it sticks.

  8. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous website.

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