I know what you’re thinking, that’s her kid in the picture watching tv, but she said they don’t do electronics? Keep reading down to my international flights section 😉
Before I had kids there were a lot of things I swore I would never do as a parent. A lot of those things went out the window when the twins were born, but one thing I have really put my foot down with is that we don’t do electronics in this house. My biggest pet peeve is trying to talk to someone while they are casually scrolling their phone at the same time! Or even worse having a meal while other people at your table have their phones out. Because of Andrew’s job his phone is basically glued to his ear. It rings nonstop at all hours of the day, but even he doesn’t answer his phone while we are eating or if he and I are having a conversation.
With 4 kids in a hugely technology oriented world, it’s hard to get by with no electronics. Research shows that kids under 2 should have no screen time and kids under 5 should have less than an hour a day with the least amount possible being the best. Considering we don’t have a generation of adults yet who grew up with lots of electronics options, my uneducated guess is that the jury is definitely still out on how much is too much. Here’s a few simple things we have done to help eliminate screen time for our kids. For reference my kiddos are 4,4,3, & just shy of 2.
1. Phones are off limits. My 4 year olds know how to use the emergency call feature on my iPhone to call my husband and my parents but otherwise they aren’t allowed to use our phones and never have been. My kids don’t even know games exist on phones, they think all you can do is call people and buy things for the UPS man to bring haha!
2. No access to TVs. We have 2 TVs in our entire house; one in the living room and one in the master bedroom. The kids do not have access to either. The remotes are kept out of reach and the living room tv actually stays unplugged. Really no one in our house watches tv, we don’t even have cable/satellite. I would really love to ditch the tv in our living room but it’s really nice to have during the winter when it’s nasty outside and we can all watch a movie on the couch together.
3. No tablets. Our kids actually do have the kids Amazon Fire tablets. We got them last year for some international flights. They have been with us to Portugal, Germany, and France and those are the only 3 times my kids have used them. All of those flights were over 9 hours long and they were definitely useful! Even with a few kids movie selections on the plane seat back tv that’s not enough for a 12 hour flight in the middle of the day. I did not let them have free reign of their tablets though. I downloaded movies from Disney+ onto them and that’s all they had to watch. We do not take them on domestic flights, even long-ish domestic flights. For domestic flights I bring books, dry erase activity/school books and magnetic blocks.
4. No computers. We have several computers in our house, a desktop and 2 laptops, but our kids have never used them. I cannot even imagine my toddlers trying to navigate using a computer but I know many do. I was quite shocked when I first began exploring homeschool curriculums how many of them were computer based even at the preschool level.
We started these practices from day 1 so it’s really all our kids know. I do think it has helped tremendously though because they play really hard and they know how to wait patiently at restaurants, doctors offices, church, etc without the help of electronics to occupy them. I do not bring toys with us when we are out places, but I do bring a quiet snack to church because we don’t send them to children’s church, they go to the main service with us and it’s right before lunch when they’re getting hungry and it helps them to sit and listen if they can also munch on something.
Don’t fret if you want to go electronics free with your kids, but they’re already accustomed to it though; it can be done! I know several people who have removed electronics from their lives and I promise their kids survived it! Much like taking a pacifier away from a baby, after a few days of an upset child it will subside.