February 28, 2013

A True Story

Once apon a time there was a family who lived on a farm.  The family consisted of a mummy, a daddy, three beautiful children and seventeen noisy but quite attractive guinea fowl.

The family was very happy, apart from one problem.

It seemed that each child owned an Ipod, you know, one of those small devices that saps all of the good energy and replaces it with selective hearing, attitudes that frankly suck and the ability to not help with any chores when asked.

The children believed that their Ipods were extensions of themselves, somewhat like an extra limb that they were permanently attached to. Many afternoons were spent seeking out the nearest power point to recharge, and working out ways to win on multiplayer Minecraft.

The mummy didn't know what to do, so she went to where she would find some answers - the internet. There were many other mummies having the same issues -

Just told mine that Monday morning to Friday arvo is no iPods, no iPhones, no iPads, and NO YOU TUBE!!! Didn't go down too well - but fingers crossed we see a change in their behaviour!!

Oh I've now taken away our ex-iPhones so none of the kids can use it bc they continually a) break the 1hr limit rule b) fight over them. So over it!

We have "technology free" zone from Sunday arvo to Friday arvo. I get frustrated with the attitudes and lack of basic thinking that comes from lots of tech time.

We are iPod/xbox/wii free from Sunday night until Friday afternoon! 4 weeks in and he doesn't even ask during the week anymore!

This advice was very helpful because one Sunday morning the mummy had finally had enough!  She flipped! She cracked!  She chased one child around the loungeroom trying to retrieve the Ipod while the child in question did her very best "change the password maneuver".

The mummy hid the three Ipods, much to the disgust of the children, who pleaded for "just one more minute, one more game, one more application download".  The mummy would not give in!

Monday passed with several requests from the children to have their Ipods back, and the mummy, feeling quite smug and awesome by then, refused, and sent them on their way to play a board game. She had noticed how calm and wonderful the morning was before school, and how everyone laughed and hardly had any cross words with each other!

On Tuesday, the mummy collected the children from school early because the creek was flooding, and when they arrived home, the first thing the children asked for was their Ipods.  The mummy refused, and sent them on their way to do some craft.

The children had an amazing time, painting some little white cups in the most beautiful, vibrant colours!

They each asked for another cup to paint, and another, and another and then a dinner plate or two, and because the mummy was loving their creativity and good behaviour, she gave them half of her white dinner set piece by piece, which was probably not the smartest thing to do.

The mummy now realises that if the paint doesn't set in the oven when they are baked, she will have plenty of colourful items for display purposes only.

Wednesday came and went and the mummy could not believe what was happening! Everything she asked was being done!  Feed the guinea fowl, sure thing!  Bring the washing in, cool, no worries!  Run a bath for your sister, will do!

What was going on?

The children were calmer, happier and things were getting done.  There was plenty of dancing on the deck, and moments of pure joy...especially for the mummy.  The requests for their Ipods were getting thinner, and reading had once again become a focus.

The mummy decided that of course, the children could have their Ipods back at a later date, but in a more controlled and limited way. 

They enjoyed downloading music and games, and taking photos, but the mummy, who was very smart and funny and popular and beautiful :) thought a balance between technology and physical and creative activity was the best choice for her family.

The End.


Jim said...

Hi Michelle! I am completely gob-smacked by all this! The fact that you took the time to do this for your family is nothing but incredible. You have taught your kids a wonderful lesson that will stay with them forever. This post could be 'required reading' for all families! Well done and congratulations!

helloally said...

Mine are older so their ipods werent the techy ones they have now but when phones became "it" mine werent alliwed to hve one until they could pay for the recharge themselves ie have a job so yr10 they got a phone. by 10pm, All phones were switched to silent and left on the ironing board till morning.....

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky said...

A very valuable tale, one I will try to remember as my children grow into the age of technology consumers!

Unknown said...

I was so sick of this - kids fighting over DVD's, computer games Tb etc in the holidays I declared some Technology free days- no TV, computer or iPads- they were the calmest happiest days of our School holidays!

TheThingsIdTellYou said...

That's a pretty freaking clever Mama! I'm thinking of doing the same thing {although at the moment, the iPad is a useful 'currency' for Samuel - and the only one he has}. We held out for so long on the boys having any portable tech devices {they've had their own computers since they were 3} so they've literally only had them 2 months. But I'm hating them. Utterly despising them.

Might be worth considering.

Farmers Wifey said...

Thanks guys, well you know the old saying, desperate times/desperate measures!! xo

LisaW said...

Best post I have read in a really long time!! Too good Michelle. I might have to follow your lead.

Farmers Wifey said...

Best thing I have ever done Lisa! xo

Life Love and Hiccups said...

What timing!!! We have been arguing today over iPods and my hubby has just done enforced a weekday ban. I have to tell him of your success. Well done Mum! xx

River said...

It's a great thing you've done. Being more or less permanently attached to ipods etc just isn't good for anyone.
I really love the painted dinnerware. Did the paint set when baked?

Mimsie said...

This may sound sad but I don't really know what an iPod does. I have heard of iPods, iPhones, iPads and the like but have had nothing to do with them and I can't say I'm very sorry. I guess what you have done is similar to me restricting the kids to just so much TV back in the 1960s. They only watched about an hour each night and in those days spent most of their time outdoors playing when the weather was fine. I often yearn for that simple life these days.
P.S. I see items advertised in brochures these days and I honestly don't even know what they are. Am I missing out on very much? I do have my desk top computer, a digital TV and a very ordinary mobile phone which is never switched on except when hubby goes out on his own. Is there anything else I need in my somewhat simple life?

Mimsie said...

Sorry but meant to say I thought the painted crockery very modern and as River asked ... did the paint set?

Kat said...

Lol, love it, the plates are gorgeous!

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

A super fun and gorgeous idea. My kids are thankfully not that addicted but deaf to pleas to put them down to go to bed or come to dinner at times.

Dream House Trish said...

I think this is an aWESOME effort Michelle, I need to adopt the same plan, my kids have become very ignorant since being ipod owners!!!

Princess Kate said...

So glad it's worked for you. My kids have to earn game time by doing chores and then it's limited game time. My 10 yo's iPod is for listening to music only, unless he wants to use his game time on it. All I have to do now is minimise TV.

Erin said...

In our experience we generally find it can take up to three days for them to 'detox' from technology and refind their creativity.
Well done and total support on sticking to your rules.