Monday, August 10, 2015

Imagination over Devices

I'm embarrassed to admit that each of my three children have an iPad.

As a household, we also have an iMac, a Macbook, two smart phones, a television and my husband's work laptop.

The only crowning achievement I can claim is that we don't have cable...but in its place, we subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.  Does it count that we frequent the library at least twice a week, the bookstore almost every other day and get the Sunday edition of The New York Times?

And so it was two days ago, I told my children that they were going to go device free for an entire week.  And in place of the primary culprit, the iPad, we were going to collectively brainstorm a list of options for utilizing their time.

Swimming, bike rides, making sand castles at the park, climbing a tree, reading a book, building Legos, painting, dragging out dress-up clothes, writing a letter to a friend, baking a treat, cooking dinner for the family, laying in the grass, looking up at the sky, dreaming about the final two weeks of summer, being that's a concept.

Today was our first day of implementation...truth be told, I'm writing this blog post in secret on the toilet praying that no one barges in as I'm trying to model limited use of gadgets as well.

But you know what, it's hard.  I'm easily distracted by so many forms of social media, podcasts, music listening and random YouTube videos (I'm secretly in love with the Voice auditions....hands down, The Voice Australia is the best, well, only slightly better than The Voice UK, which is infinitely better than the The Voice US...pathetic, I know.) Like them, I like to zone out, probably more than I should.

As I think about raising my children, I'm so afraid that they'll be bored.  But the truth is, I was bored a lot as a kid and I think it was good for me....good to make something out of nothing...good to roll around in the backyard thinking about a whole lot of nothing...good to roam on my bike with nowhere in particular to go...good to differentiate the summer from the school year without cramming every minute with something productive.

So, here we devices.  I will say that the fighting has been off-the-charts.  The whining has been a little nutty and there have been half a dozen times that I just want to send them to their rooms with the iPad.  But, at the end of the day, I think this is important for all of us.

Here's to the imagination and the beauty of boredom.

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