cootie catcher and the Internet.

by humanmama on January 16, 2012

Sometimes something simple, and maybe from middle school, can help you remember your priorities a little.

I got a laptop device for Christmas this year. It’s one of those cool hold in your lap but not a laptop things, and I will say, it’s pretty awesome. In fact, I’m laying in bed and posting to you right now: a first for me. I know you can guess what I got, but I’d prefer to…let you guess.

One thing about it: it has made me incredibly aware of the amount of computer time we’re all sucking up–or letting suck us up. And– also incredibly aware of what it’s doing to our kids. And I’m powerless to stop it!

Well, at least for the world at large. In my house, it is something you can be damn sure will be nipped in the bud.

Smart phones! DS! Wii, Xbox, computers. iEverythings, and that’s not even mentioning TV. There’s so many things to grab our attention that we hardly have time for thinking anymore. So, here are some rules I’m gonna make. Feel free to copy, but don’t feel judged if you are obsessed with technology… Just do what works for you and your family. But, maybe you feel like me–that this is getting a little out of hand. If so, some thoughts:

1.) phones can come to bed but only for charging and alarms. Not Apps, not games, not chatting…just charge and alarm. And when the kids get old enough for phones, they remain downstairs and you can have them in the morning. Too many kids I’ve counseled in my life have been exhausted and unable to wake up for school due to video games, tv, and talking on the phone late at night. I can only assume in the 6+ years I haven’t been in the world of therapy, it’s evolved to texting at all hours and iPad facebooking. Here: no devices in the nightes. That’s supposed to rhyme.

2.) that also goes for dad and I. (Note: yes, I’m on it right now but I just figured out how to get my internet connected and Carpenter and kids are asleep. I told him before he drifted off, “How about no devices at night?” and he out of his own volition said “okay. But tonight’s ok. -snoorrre”

3,) no devices in a restaurant. Oh, this will be hard but how many times have you wanted to strangle that person who’s phone keeps going off in a diner? The hardest thing is, smart devices can keep our kids busy. That is helpful when we wanna eat. But tonight, at a pizza joint, as we waited and festered and the kids starved, we pulled out all our tricks. Playing with the crayons, coloring, joking around… We were out of ideas when Carpenter said “do you know how to make one of those thingys? The way he held his hands I knew just what it was.

A cootie catcher. I said, “I used to…” and looked for paper to fold up. We spent the next 10 minutes until our food came laughing and eating the kids’s fingers with cootie catchers.

See? And that’s how a cootie catcher can make you forsake the Internet. Now, go. Do as you will. But be wise, friends. Be wise.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brent January 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

Do these “cookie catcher” devices get wifi?


aj January 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Haha…um…not sure. Mine is not WiFi enabled ;-)


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