One potentially TOXIC menu item in your child's 'diet' ...and why we changed our name to
I woke up this morning with this thought: People are really starting to watch what their kids are taking into their bodies....like hawks. I truly don't blame them and we watch closely. The interesting thing to us has always been that not a whole lot of consideration is taken to what they take into their bodies with their eyeballs. We may heavily filter media influences, sure! Who wouldn't? But, what we don't seem to watch like a hawk is how devices and electronics are affecting our children's behaviors. Almost everyone in our little sphere of influence jumps on any food influence that could be a problem, and rightfully so! We are desperate when we have a child, or children, who have major behavioral problems! Especially when we try so hard to be good parents and stay on them, etc.
Well, somewhere around when our son was 2 we noticed some issues with behavior, but we actually never tied them to what has apparently been his problem...screen time. It was a simple fix, in theory, but difficult to implement, of course.
We don't have family in town and occasionally this stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of two needs a little break! TV is a free babysitter! So is the iPad! Score! Well, we never actually jumped in with both feet on devices and TV because of what we noticed. What did we notice? Not only did he have a major meltdown after only watching a half hour of television when it was over, but he also had A LOT of difficulty following simple instructions the rest of the day and containing emotion.
When child #2 came we had backed off some, but sometimes you just have to use a device. What happens to #2 when we use electronics and devices? Much the same. She doesn't tend to stay inside herself and day dream like he does, but the emotions? Out. Of. Control.
I wanted to point out the fact that we don't have family in town as a reminder that if you say, "yeah, but I need to be able to shower." Yes! You do! Like anything going unplugged takes some time to "train."
These photos with family, by the way, are of what our children do as unplugged children instead of look at a screen.
A side note, yesterday I was making dinner and K-Bug was quiet...too quiet! We didn't end up with any drawing on the wall, she had simply emptied out a basket of books we keep lying around the house and she was laying on the floor looking at books.
Back to the subject at hand! Why not try not using devices and electronics and just SEE what happens? This can be for short stints, longer stints, and maybe even forever (within reason...they do need to know how to do electronic things...perhaps not at age 3 or even 8, though and we do use computers for Microsoft Word and such...that is not even an issue for them).
You know your family. Either go cold turkey, or start a weaning process. Why do we need television and devices constantly influencing our children? We do not!
In the coming weeks I will share with you what we have been doing and how we went about eliminating TOXIC things from our children's psychological diets.
I have a scientific background and am a Biomedical Engineer. BUT, I am not an expert in human behavior, I am not a nutritionist, dietician, pediatrician, holistic medicine expert, etc. But, my husband and myself are experts at our children. Our sample size is very small, but we have seen a pattern with them both and since it is something relatively easy to test, we have done without, and that will continue. We have seen C-Bear really mature this year as a result and he also says he cannot do screens. He notices this in himself! We watched two YouTube videos of that really awesome astronaut who does science experiments in space and he said he was starting to space out. Electronics were disrupting his brain activities and behaviors. If you are desperate, this may be a great, and easy, thing for you to try to implement! He is wearing Minecraft shirts in these photos, but he hasn't played it in almost a year. I think that bears mentioning. In fact, we no longer have any Minecraft items. He knew he wouldn't be playing it again and requested to sell them so we let him. Coincidentally, I held off posting this. I know some people will definitely bristle and think we are extremists over here. But, since I mentioned we are not mental health professionals, just people who really care about our kids I wanted to give you access to exhibit A, B, and C that were all written BY mental health professionals. Behold:
As I held off posting and really just thought about it and did a little research I found that EXPERTS are starting to warn about screens and kids. Exhibit A is probably my favorite, but I haven't read all of any of them. These are just resources you can research if you are curious. We do not regret the lack of screens. In fact, we try our best to pretty much model it! If you needed to read this it makes me glad!
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