Thursday, August 18, 2011
Kids and Technology Dependency
My oldest daughter has become more and more dependent on her iPod and laptop, just to function. She will also hole herself up in her room and probably never see the light of day if she isn't forced to.
It's been an ongoing problem for quite awhile.
Originally, the deal was that she could have her iPod from 5pm - 9pm (after homework and chores were done). And she could have her laptop from 4pm - 6pm (earlier than the iPod for homework purposes). However, it didn't turn out that way. Sneaky bugger!
So my husband and I made the decision to take both of those items away from her.
She hasn't had them for over a month now. And let me tell you, there was much pain and misery in our household as she went through what appeared to be withdrawal syndrome. Major anxiety and depression. Tears, and shouts, and anger, and happiness for awhile, and then back to tears and shouts and anger. Again and again. Up and down.
It was enough to make my husband and me pause and wonder, "What the hell did we get ourselves into?!" Still, we didn't give in. If there's one thing about me, it's that I'm stubborn as hell, and even that kind of bad behavior doesn't get me to back down.
Thankfully, she's adjusting better now. It took about two weeks, but things have calmed down. A lot.
She now hangs out with us in the living room and kitchen. She talks to us. She talks to her little sisters too and plays with them. She's nicer to them. She practices her dancing. She takes walks to the parks with us. She swims in our pool. She mows the lawn. She helps to clean the house.
It's beautiful. She's my girl again. Thank God.
But now what? Questions of when to allow her to use her iPod and laptop again, and how to manage/monitor her use of them lingers in the air. And no, I am not anywhere ready to begin contemplating her having a cellphone. Nope.