Defeating The Tech Dragon


Defeating The Tech DragonWhy do I feel like a tiny knight facing a raging dragon whenever I try to tackle our family’s tech/TV habits?

Now that I have a child who can read and spell well enough to navigate a search bar, the world of the smart TV, YouTube, and everything beyond feels insurmountable for a mom whose only armor is love, worry, and an ability to hide the remote. We’ve had family discussions about healthy tech time vs unhealthy. We’ve tried various means of earning minutes on TV. We’ve gone on purges for weeks and even months.

However, whenever we create a new thought process for tackling this dragon, we face metaphorical fire and claws alongside very real defiant cries for Bluey that coalesce into a chaotic household. The last thing I want to do as we approach summer is to yield to the temptation of just giving up and letting the tech time fall where it will. I know what that would turn into: a pair of couch zombies and one of our precious childhood summers wasted.

So, what is the solution? Turn it all off and unplug completely?

At times, I’m truly tempted to try this method again, but I keep coming back to the thought that I can’t control their exposure forever. When they flee the nest as mini almost-adults at 18, they will face the tech dragon without having developed any armor to help themselves survive. So, I’d like to teach them how to watch with intention and then stop in a reasonable amount of time. In other words, I’m trying to teach self-control.

With ADHD and my own personal struggles with the concept and implementation of my own self-will, it’s difficult to find my footing in helping them do better than I have ever managed.

So, how do you do it? Is there a manual? Does anyone suggest hypnosis? What is the secret to transforming the tool that is tech into its own armor against the dragon? I’d love to tell you that I have that figured out, but the closest I can come is to continue having real conversations about addiction, impulse control, and the ability to use self-control to do what is good for ourselves.

One idea I have been implementing lately that has seen some success is to litter the house with various fun activities that attract their attention over that of television or games. Sometimes, I can lure them into puzzles, books, baking, sewing, or other hands-on activities that keep us connected to each other.

I’m hoping to avoid the house as much as possible this summer by loading up the car with children in the morning and dropping us off somewhere near activities we can walk to. I hope we can pull together enough collective willpower to banish this tech dragon from our household — for a while, at least.

This is my hope,

This is my dream,

Please, Dear Lord, help us learn to focus on you and your will over the tech noise around us.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here