Yes, you heard that right. Good-bye screens!
Ok, not completely but we have definitely gone down to a VERY limited use of screens in our home and may eventually even cut them out completely. And the best part? No one’s gone crazy!
Technology use has become second nature in our society today. We have smart TVs that give us access to an array of shows and movies. We have smart phones which for us, are our main use for information. It’s where we keep up with the weather, world news, and local news. A large part of my job in social media can be done on my phone as well.
I feel like many of us have become so desensitized to the amount of time we actually use our devices, and once I analyzed the chaos that it was causing in my home, it was a no brainer to begin the process of eliminating screens.
From the moment I opened my eyes, I was reaching for my phone without even giving it a second thought. I’d then make my way into the living room to have my quiet time before my toddler woke up, as soon as that was finished I noticed I’d reach right back to my phone again. Whether it was checking emails, reading blog posts, writing blog posts of my own or responding to comments, I noticed I was getting sucked back into my phone!
Then, my daughter would wake up. The first thing I’d do was turn on the TV to “distract” her so I could cook breakfast. Once breakfast was made we’d eat together, and she’d continue to watch her show while I’d mindlessly scroll on my phone.
Before I knew it, it was lunch time. No chores had been done, no one was really put together, and we’d done nothing productive all morning! I’d feel tired and groggy, and even grouchy. My toddler was throwing tantrums, acting out, being super clingy, and even a bit grouchy herself.
I was feeling overwhelmed, touched out, and anxious. Once I realized the cause of our issues was a lack of movement, lack of sensory stimulation, a lack of daily rhythm, and the over use of screens in our home I set out to take back control of the household.
How it all started:
You may be wondering….Uhm, how in the world did you end up like that? Well, I’ll tell you my sweet friends. For me, it started when I began taking my social media work seriously. My platforms quickly started growing and I started to feel immense pressure to “keep up”. Anytime I found a pocket of time, I was reaching for my phone to work. Not only that, our phones are a HUGE distraction and even temptation. My intentions were to work, but I’d often find myself mindlessly scrolling through my feed.
Then we move on to my toddlers love for her shows. It really took off when we started supporting a relative with virtual learning. Homeschool for us came to a pause, and one of the main ways I could get my toddler to give the kids doing virtual learning their space to complete their work was turning on the TV. That went on for about 6 weeks, and we unintentionally created a habit that we brought back home with us.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The more I walk on my journey with my faith, the more I’m aware of if what I’m doing is honoring or pleasing to God. And I can tell you, the lack of true family presence and order in my home was not pleasing to Him. For the record, we had mostly a happy home even with the screen issue. However our mental health was really being effected by technology and screens and I was not having it anymore!
I started asking myself questions. Was I truly training my child up in the way she should go? Was what I was doing encouraging my child to seek the Lord? Was I actively teaching her about Christ and how to be more Christ like? Were we conforming to the ways of world, doing and saying things like “well, there’s no escaping technology so might as well go with it”. Was I sticking to my values I set out to have on my platforms which were to share the Word, and to be an encouragement to other women and moms?
How we did it & what I’ve learned:
Now, I plan on writing an entire blog post with all of the intricate details on how we’re going about this process ; and also sharing some fun activities you can do together while using items you may already have at home. I can tell you, that it’s OK for your child to be bored. If you’re cooking, cleaning, or doing some sort of chore what’s worked best for us is either A) have them get involved or B) set them up with an activity.
During this process I’ve found taking a “redirecting” approach rather than an “authoritarian”approach was a lot more effective. I feel like we get much less pushback that way, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is “missing out” on the use of screens”
Another thing to consider is that you’ll have to work on your flexibility. Messes will be made, chores may not get done the way you’d like, and you may find yourself on the floor playing with play dough, paints, or toys. It can sound stressful, but perspective is key my friends. My priority lies in raising my child, not in how much laundry I can do that day. And to be quite honest, our home is much more in order this way. Surprising, I know!
Really pressing in on being involved with those little things and those sweet moments has truly been therapeutic. There’s just something about unplugging and really being present. At first, I thought I’d be drowning with stress and chores not being done. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the overall peace and calming that has come with this process.
We still use screens and technology. They can definitely be a great resource when used correctly or when not over used. We usually use them when we’re doing car rider pickup for a relative of ours, and when I need to shower. Other than that, we pretty much are not on our devices.
The process of eliminating screens has created so much peace in our home. Our mornings feel slow and meaningful. We’ve developed an appreciation and gratitude for even the smallest of things. Our family unit feels close-nit, and our relationship with Christ is growing. My toddlers behavior has improved IMMENSELY! Her imagination exploded and her creativity is blooming! We began homeschooling again and she is just thriving and so excited to read stories, color, and do crafts. Overall we’ve felt the call to lead a more simple and humble life, getting back to the basics, and this has been a huge step in that direction.
I hope you’ve found some encouragement within this post today! If you’re deciding to start the process of eliminating screens in your home, share in the comments what it is that’s inspired you! Until next time. ✨