Does your child spend a lot time on their iPad? I bet they do, ours did too. We had one major rule though and that was, “don’t talk to anyone you don’t know in real life online.” Our daughter broke that rule and we took it away. What we didn’t expect were the changes we would observe over the next few weeks.
What did you just minimize?
Our daughter, like most kids her age, enjoyed playing games where her friends could interact with her online. She knew that she wasn’t supposed to talk to anyone that she didn’t know in real life. One day though her dad walked into her room and she quickly minimized something. Ummmm what did you just minimize? “Nothing”, she said. Of course her dad took the computer and found a benign conversation that our daughter admitted she didn’t know the person she was talking to. We reacted quickly and strongly because pedos don’t just start the conversation saying “hey little girl I have some bad intentions for you.”. So we needed to make our point. Computer and iPad were gone for an indefinite amount of time.
How long are we going to keep them?
Over the next few days my husband and I went back and forth about how long we were going to keep her devices. We didn’t really have a plan in place since this was kind of unexpected. After a couple days though we noticed that she hadn’t asked for it, at all, not once. So we determined that we wouldn’t do anything if she didn’t ask. Let’s just see how long we can go here.
She started playing with her little brother and sister again.
After a while we started to notice that our daughter was interacting with her younger siblings again. Especially her little sister. They started playing board games, going out on the trampoline, and other imaginative play. She still hadn’t asked for her iPad back so we were letting it go. We were noticing a lot fewer fights, a lot less yelling, and a happier daughter.
Her behavior improved.
After a couple weeks, we noticed that our mornings started to go more smoothly. She was now waking up before she needed to and getting ready without being told. I asked her if after we went to bed was she was going back on her computer before. She admitted she often did. Her mood was improving, she was more engaged with us and started asking her siblings to go outside WAY more often!
Three weeks later.
She still hasn’t asked for the iPad back and we haven’t offered it to her. Things have definitely improved around here and we are pleasantly surprised. Obviously we didn’t anticipate these changes, we hadn’t realized how much constantly being on her iPad was affecting her. Not only affecting her but the rest of us. It seems as though we are all a little happier without that iPad around.
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