FamilyLifestyleMotherhoodSan Diego

Disconnecting from my virtual world and plugging into my real one

Lets face it, most of us are addicted to our phones. I am quite addicted to editing pictures of my children, my husband is addicted to Sportscenter and many of us like checking our email, social media updates and more. The truth is our cell phones buzz at us constantly, It seems there’s no end to the sounds of social media with the addition of the never-ending ringing phone we face each day.

Many of us including myself walk around with a phone glued to our hands.  Whatever the case is we are addicted to our smart phones. My husband and I have decided to make a tiny shift in that paradigm. We came up with a new rule that during dinner time we plug in our phones and we don’t look at them until our children are asleep.

We have always had the opportunity to set boundaries for ourselves, we just haven’t done a very good job of it.  And as our phones have become the “everything” that happens in our lives our reluctance to plug it in and turn it off has only grown. This new rule is only a month old, but I am finding it to be completely successful for us as a family.

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What we have found is our children are getting the attention they so deserve and we are making learning fun. Its quite amazing how present we actually feel. Once we started doing this we started to make a conscious decision that when we are with our children, phones and computers are down. We do not check email, answer calls or texts, its family time … The End.

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Remember when we were kids and there were no cell phones and we all played outside? One of the cool things about being a child is their scope to truly be present. Unlike us adults, kids don’t dwell on anything…. They worry about whats the next Nintendo game or the latest app.  I envy that capacity, but when I unplug, disconnect and am present, I worry less and focus on the kids I am so blessed to have.

I noticed at a children’s performance the other day some parents were texting throughout the short 30-minutes. Now that we have made this pact as a family and I am consciously aware of it, I actually don’t like what it looks like. I immediately felt so bad and I too have done this in the past.   I noticed the children were looking into the crowd and could see their parents on their cell phones. Could there be something more important than our precious kids on stage for half an hour?  We are so busy as parents, we truly are and sometimes it’s impossible to not be glued to the phone, but I can honestly say being present for the plays, present in our conversations with our friends, and being present with our kids is truly an eye awakening experience.

It’s so nice doing their homework one on one and having family conversations. Each child reads to us for 30 minutes and then we say our prayers and read a little story about our faith before we go to bed. Being connected to these three little lives is what matters most. We all want to be more available, less distracted, more tuned in to our children. It’s a parenting method that takes real presence, and I am determined to do this.

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Winnie The Pooh sums it up best:

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I would love to hear from you. Have you tried unplugging before or would you be willing to?

 

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13 comments

  1. already do this. It is a must! We all grew up without the phones, computers and iPads. We survived. Be present, enjoy the moment. Once it is gone, you can’t get it back.

    1. CityGirl2014

      i know my girl is unplugged and tuned into her sweet angel

  2. I love this!!! It’s a simple idea that has such a powerful result!!! I will certainly TRY to do this in our family. I worry so much about controlling the amount of time my children are allowed to be on the computer playing games, but I think I should worry about how much time I spend on it too. Thanks City Girl Gone Mom:)

    1. CityGirl2014

      awe… so glad you liked this… its worth a try… we feel so much better about it

  3. There is much so truth in these words. Every parent deals with this and we need to be so careful to protect our family time. Nice job, Danielle!

    1. CityGirl2014

      awe jamie i am so glad you liked this…

  4. It’s hard…but you’re totally right! Now that the kids are a little older, I see our poor phone habits creeping in….Mia and the ipod, Gavin and the tablet. We are having an electronic free Christmas this year, bust out the board games!

    1. Danielle Lucia Schaffer

      love the idea of board games…. connect four, chutes and ladders, candy land

  5. […] We decided to start with a small day trip and take the train downtown from one of our coastal beaches.  The trip was more than perfect and the kids loved it.  As they stared out of the window in such awe of what they were seeing I couldn’t help but remember me doing the same thing when I was their age.  I would look out of the window for hours, It wasn’t so bad growing up in a world without smartphones, iPads or tablets.  All you had was your surroundings.  If you didn’t read my post about our new “unplugging” rule, you could read that here. […]

  6. […] I have found that nature is not only fun for my kids, but also very therapeutic for myself. It is always good to get outside and enjoy what has always been in front of you all along: nature. If you haven’t already read my post about disconnecting from your virtual world and plugging into your real one, you could read about it here. […]

  7. […] read my post about the rules we follow in our house about unplugging you can read about it here.  Bobby knows our kids do not care about his Sports Center scores, drafts, stats, emails or […]

  8. […] to disconnect from my virtual world to tune into my real one.  You can read about that here.  To give my kids the attention they need all cell phones must be put away.  I want to […]

  9. […] from my virtual world and plugging into my real one is the priority for all of us.  I wrote a post about this a while back and it still rings true.  Our phones, tablets, computers have […]

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