As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This Darn Little Thing...

Prudent parents keep strict tabs on their childrens' screen time.  We are much the same.  We have tight rules, allowing only a short show every now and then (not every day), and of course the occasional movie.  My oldest is only on the computer maybe once every two weeks or so.  Video games take the place of a TV show, and are controlled as tightly.  No doubt about it, as far as our kids go, we are screen-responsible.

But what about the grownups?  Oh, I would proudly tell you I rarely watch TV.  And the computer, well I can't go on that more than once or twice a day anyway, because the kids circle around me and make it impossible for me to do anything.  The clincher for me?  Its screen is only 2x3 inches big.  Yep, my cell phone.  My crutch.  In my pocket all the time you know, so I can read the news while I nurse the baby, or receive an emergency text from my husband.  Most of the time I don't even know it's there.

Except I do.  And with the summer schedule less rigid (and me spending more time sitting due to surgery recovery and recurring nursing issues) I have allowed that darn little thing to take over more and more of my day.  So often I find myself snapping at the kids because they are causing trouble when I just want to finish that story, or read that blog or (which I never do during the kids' waking hours during the school year) check facebook.

I realized today what a double standard I have, that I control the kids' screen time so tightly and yet am so ruled by it myself.  And so, I have decided to put my phone up and go back to my school year restrictions on facebook.  Meaning that if you're trying to get ahold of me anytime throughout the day, you will have to do it the old-fashioned way - by landline.  In the evening, when the kids are down and I do my daily sweep of facebook, I will give myself the same restrictions I give the kids - a half hour.  And I'll probably check it in the morning when I get up too.  But I'll set the timer, and when it goes off, I'll put the cell phone up.

Starting today, this little thing gets put back into its rightful place.  A small piece of technology so meaningless in the grand scheme of things, so much less derserving of my time and attention than the people that are around me.  Today I live by example, I discipline myself.  Which I suppose is what growing up is all about.

So much sweeter to stare at than a cell phone.  (Photo credit: Melody Mercer)

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