Molly DeFrank and husband put their kids on a screen time detox and the results stunned her.
For many of us, childhood brings back memories of fun, frolick and playing outdoors. Running down the street to meet your friends, collecting bugs, riding the bicycles back home in the evenings were all part of growing up. However, childhood for kids these days seems to be much, much different. Today, we see children fixated on animated games and cartoons on mobile phones and tablets. While many of us consider it a part of the changing times, one mother decided she did not want the same for her kids. She wanted her children to experience a better, more fulfilling childhood.
According to Good Morning America, Molly DeFrank, a blogger from California took some extreme steps when she saw the amount of time her children, aged between 4 to 10 were spending on their devices, and how it was changing them, she decided to do something about it. "... my precious babies were acting like demogorgons. And Mama don't play. We'd only allowed an hour a day, but still, the screens apparently muted their creativity, caused grumpiness, fighting and whining. I was not into it," wrote the mother on Facebook. She noticed her children had become particularly grumpier when she turned off their devices.
She decided to take extreme measures after observing their dependancy on the screen. "I came home and the first thing my son said to me was 'can I play on your phone?' That was it," said the mother of five.
Soon, Molly and her husband informed the kids of their plan to ban screens for 30 days. Though it upset the kids, they quickly found ways to keep themselves engaged. At first, they asked their parents to help them figure out some activities."I just thought about what I did during my childhood. I told them 'go climb a tree or collect bugs. And if you're still bored I have piles of laundry for you to fold,'" recalled the mother.
After some advice from their parents, all the five kids discovered their new likings. They built couch forts, played LEGOs and read more.
"A few Saturdays into our screen detox, my kids woke up one by one and saw my husband and I reading in bed. They grabbed their own books and joined us. At restaurants, they bring a stack of books instead of propped ipads. My daughter has grown five reading levels in seven months," said the proud mother. They spotted their own interests and invested all their time into doing it. "My daughter is just reading non-stop. And I found out my son loves non-fiction. I never knew that before," said the blogger.
The 30-day detox from the screens enabled the kids to find and develop their interests. "I watched my kids go from screen-dependent to cooperatively playing, creating and even making their own "school." I couldn't believe how easy it was," wrote the proud mother on Facebook.
Though it has been nine months since the detox, the family still restricts screen time. They gather together to watch movies once in a while and the kids are only allowed to have an hour of screen time on Sundays. However, Molly and her husband also believe technology is not all that bad. "We just want to remain in a place where technology works for us. And not the other way around," said the mother.