You may not realize how intense the attachment to electronics is for your child until you take them away.
Mom of two, Susannah Lewis knew she had let things slide for a little too long when her 8-year old son got in trouble for using his iPod at midnight, on a school night, Susannah and her husband decided to take away his electronics for an undetermined amount of time. For her son, this meant no video games and no iPod.
You may know first hand what her son’s reaction was, but Susannah was not prepared for how extreme he went. “He flew into a fit of rage. In his anger, he even said some horribly disrespectful things to my husband and I. When I looked at him, screaming like a lunatic, he didn’t look anything like my sweet little boy. He wasn’t himself. It scared me to the point of tears”.
She felt somewhat guilty. When her son was 3-years old, she gave him an iPad for him to entertain himself while the family was on road trips, “he’s just loved video games ever since”. As a writer, Susannah would also send her son to play games so she could get some work done without interruptions. She didn’t realize how addicted her son was to the electronics until her husband locked away every gaming console in the house.
Susannah had expected her son to change a bit after the no electronics rule went into effect, but she was amazed by the transformation.
Her son used to be so inattentive, at one point she thought he should be tested for ADHD, but after the no-screen rule, Susannah reports that her son now listens “I ask him to do something one time, and it’s done. He’s not preoccupied with thoughts of gaming or too busy searching for his iPod or even so enthralled with a game that he has blocked out my voice”.
“He is happier. He is kinder to his sister. He goes outside to play without me suggesting he do so. He hasn’t had a single fit of anger. He reads books or draws when he’s bored, and he loves it. His teacher said he’s more attentive. He hasn’t woken up late for school one time. He talks more. He looks out the window when we’re in the car and asks questions… I’ve never been so happy to play “I Spy” in my life”.
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We all know that too much screen time can be harmful, but we don’t always realize how our behavior can be related to time spent on a screen. “It’s as if these last 8-10 months, he’s been brainwashed by Fortnite, Minecraft, Aliens Vs. Zombies and Roblox on repeat”.
In order to lead by example, Susannah also decided to put away her phone more often, which has allowed her to spend more quality time talking with her son.
After fifteen days of the electronic detox, she allowed her son to use his game console and iPod again. His response was miraculous.
When his screen time was up, he got off without a complaint. No begging. No crying. No, “Can I finish this level?” or “Fifteen more minutes, PLEASE!??”
He simply turned it off and found something else to do. Like it was no big deal.
Susannah shared her story in the hopes of helping other parents realize how limiting screen times can help to improve their children’s behavior.
She wrote: “If you have a child with anger issues or who is always in a bad mood — if you have a child who is inattentive or whines when he doesn’t get his way — if you have a child who is obsessed with gaming and needs a daily fix — I encourage you to enforce an electronics detox”.
Her advice was so encouraging to others that parent after parent shared their own experience with the detox and how necessary it is. Video game and electronic addictions are a serious problem among kids and teens:
While not all kids and teens who use screens are said to be addicted, there are some who take it too far. After 15 days of the detox, Susannah had gone from a mom who at times, wanted to smash the PlayStation and iPod, to being grateful for her son’s new healthy relationship with the electronics.
“My boy is happier. He’s kinder. He’s eager to learn and talk about things other than games… It’s good to have him back”.
- Mom Enforces Electronics ‘Detox’ for Son and Is Amazed at Transformation: ‘It’s Good to Have Him Back’ https://dearly.com/mom-electronics-detox-son-amazed-transformation/
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