Yesterday afternoon I announced (in the presence of my daughters) that at 2:30, I would be closing my computer for the rest of the day.
One daughter asked “Why are you telling us this?” The other daughter said “She’s creating accountability. That way we know if she doesn’t get off the computer!”
I was super tickled at her response. You probably suspect she had read (and understood) the computer article I posted yesterday. I actually gave it to both my girls last week and asked for their feedback. I was happy that they understand accountability and wise computer practices aren’t just something adults impose on children; we ourselves are working to act wisely! Here are some of their comments I jotted down last week.
I asked them if they had any other comments. They started sharing some of their goals or actions to be wise users of technology.
- I use timers or music to help me be aware of time: “When I’m done with this album or song, then I need to get off the computer.”
- After 10, I stay off my phone. [We shut down all internet connectivity after bedtime, but they said that’s a rule they are glad we have.]
- I don’t want lots of apps or a web browser on my phone– I want it more as utility.
- I need to have a endpoint.
- No earbuds/ headphones— because it shuts you out from the world. sometimes I do use headphones though, so I’m not distracted.
- I have tried scheduling my day, and it works sometimes but not others. I might be on a roll in my writing and I haven’t yet figured out how to accommodate when I’m productive and my block of time is over.
- Telling you what I’m doing is helpful.
- Making it so you can see me helps me— especially when I’m doing school.
Any other comments about how you know if you’re on the computer too long?
- I get headaches if I’m on the computer too long
- I lose a sense of time– I like the circle limits, because it’s a reminder of how much time has passed. [We use the Circle device to manage our devices. We have limits for various programs the children use. We are generous by adding more time when they ask, but we have explained that one utility of a limit is simply for time awareness.]
- A lot of times you have good intentions, but it’s easy to get distracted.
When I told them I started this article over a year ago, Bethel told me she knew that. When I asked her how she knew, she told me that a lot of the things in the article are things we’ve talked about. She’s right. I love to talk about the whys of our decisions, because I want them to agree with me! If they think my actions are without reasons, they may comply with our rules at home, but they will likely leave them at our home when they become adults. Nearly every bullet point in the computer article is a statement we’ve made across many, many conversations together. I’m hoping for many more as we learn together!