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How to Detach and Reconnect

A reminder on my Facebook paged popped up to remind me that this time last year I was prepping for an interview on Good Morning America.  Yep, little ol' me on GMA! *tosses confetti*  

My family and I were interviewed about kids' cell phone usage and potential cell phone addiction.  One of my kids was on his phone ALL the time and his grades were declining.   I installed a program on my kid's phone which tracked cell phone usage and was surprised my kid was on his phone 6-8 hours per day on most days and even more than that on weekends.  Bear in mind he wasn't allowed to take his phone to school so his phone use was restricted to after school and weekends and somehow this kid managed to rack up 6-8 hours of phone time in a 24-hour day.?!  1/3 of my kid's day was spent on the phone.  I was shocked.

We had to make some changes.  There was no way I would let this device control my kid's life.  No ma'am Pam, it wasn't happening.  We as a family learned to detach and reconnect.  

First step to detaching and reconnecting is knowing exactly how much time your family is spending on the their phones.  We installed an app called Quality Time to track our family's android phone usage.  Another fab app is Moment.  Each app has parental controls to track, monitor and supervise phone use and provide stats to help minimize phone usage.

Secondly, schedule some activities.  When's the last time you had a Family Game Night?  Break out the board games.  Host a movie night at your house for your kids and their friends.  Or my favorite the "It's Less than an Hour from Our House" Road Trip.  We have found some dynamic hiking trails, museums and family friendly places all within an hour's drive from our house.  
Crystal Bridges Museum 
Lastly, put your foot, I mean phone down.  Children often imitate us so if our kid sees us on the phone all the time they're sure to imitate this habit.  I think this holds true to many facets of our lives.  So, put your phone down and take a break from Da Book to spend with da kids.  

Oh, as far as my kid is concerned.  He brought his grades up.  He's back on the Honor Roll and he is heading to Boys State AND Governors School this Summer. We knew he could do it, but we had to step up and and help him detach and reconnect.

What about your family?  How does your family detach and reconnect?  


This sounds like a great app! I shudder to think of what I will discover about my kids' device usage after I use this. Thanks for sharing it with us.
AiringMyLaundry said…
Oh yeah, I'm sure my kids are on too much. But unless their schoolworks starts to dip, it doesn't bother me. We have our family time where they are away from their phones at least. But they know if grades starts to drop, phones and electronics will go away.
Lisa Marie said…
I think a family game night is just what me and my hubby needs. I've been wanting to try Pie in the Face for the longest time!
Jeannette said…
Try to detach from our electronics and Sundays were more successful than others. I definitely try to plan stuff so that we can go and have some fun without all of our stuff bugging us down. I am pretty sure my son probably does more than I realize on the computer and I do need to limit with that. I love reconnecting with my kiddo every day.
Pam said…
It can be so easy to get sucked into the internet, especially for kids, I think. It's so important to take time offline and reconnect with your family.
Wow how cool is that!? You know I am sure most families need to cut down on time spent on tech, adults included. This app sounds like a great place to start!
Marcie W. said…
Unplugging and connecting with family is absolutely crucial. We don't do this nearly enough and truly need to make it a point to do better. Thank you for the reminder!
Marysa said…
This is a fantastic idea! I have wanted a way to control how much time we are spending online. The kids totally lose track of time, and honestly I lose track of time too. We really need to get unplugged these last few weeks before school starts.
Dogvills said…
I am sure most parents are struggling with this. We need to control our kids' phone usage and spend more time with the family. These are great tips.
Farrah less G. said…
Technology has good and bad effects as it evolving. AS for me I prepare when kids are more engaged to a real people not the people you can meet online. I want my kids to play outside and get sweat and enjoy life.
Joanna Brittain said…
We disconnect about once a month. It helps us become a healthier family by spending time together with out listening to the vibrations or dings from our phones.
Alicia said…
That's awesome! I am glad that your son's grades are pulling back up. I didn't let my kids have cell phones till they were 16 - and then they were basic phones with no internet. If they wanted more than calling home and the police, they had to work to pay for the bill. I know that's not an option for all parents, though, so I am glad there are some monitoring services available.
redheadmomblog said…
These are some great ways to detach and connect. We like to have family game nights and movie nights together.
Chrystal Mahan said…
I tell you what, I wish I had this app when my ex and I were together. He is still glued to his phone and his daughter complains about it all the time still.
Victoria Heckstall said…
People must realize that sometimes, technology can be a barrier to open communication among family members. But proper use of it will surely be a way to make them closer.
Ricci Ellis said…
Is it bad that I think I need this app for myself?? LOL! I am on my phone a lot and so I know kids are...I love that you are planning family activities that your kids have to interact during. Sounds like you have it down!!
Ada said…
It can be nice to take a break and get off of technology
Lynsey said…
It's so important to disconnect and spend time together as just a family and explore the outdoors!
HilLesha O'Nan said…
I think it is good and important to step away from technology every now and then. My family and I love to detach and reconnect by going hiking.
The app sounds amazing letting us know and control our phone usage. Detaching from technology can be quite hard but should be implemented for a healthier way of living.
Lynndee said…
I will have to check that app out. We do have our family movie night once or twice a week and that's how we detach.
GeekDad248 said…
We go on a few vacations per year where we totally disconnect from our phones, email and the internet. It probably is as good for me as it is the kids to just step away from everything.
I think I saw a video on how to use Moment! I loved that you can set a time limit on the devices. My son would hate it for sure but that way I can make sure he's not becoming a zombie with all the screen time.
Wow I am so getting that app for my husband because I really think he is addicted to his cell phone and I cant deal with it anymore.
Amy Grun said…
We can consider phone control from the side of parents wither as good or bad. All these argumentative thoughts can be included in your best student essay.

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