Why I’m taking my kids phones away this summer
According to my kids I am the worst father in the world. And I’m ok with that. Together their mother and I decided that for the rest of the summer we are taking away their cellphones. It’s a drastic move, and in this technology focused age some people would no doubt say we’re depriving our kids. But our motive isn’t to deprive them. It’s to give them a break from the digital world and to learn to start biking. I want them to spend the summer playing outside, not texting.
Their mother wants them to really see the beauty of the blooming summer world without looking at it through a lens to capture it on Instagram. We want family picnics and conversation, long lazy days at the public pool, and kids who have to learn how to amuse themselves for an afternoon without Netflix.
It Hurts Us More Than It Hurts You But It’ll Help You In The Long Run
Of course we can’t just totally cut all digital ties. They do need their phones to talk to their friends and make plans since almost no one has a home phone anymore. And we want them to be able to call us when they arrive at tennis lessons, at day camp, or if they have a problem. So they are allowed to have the phones for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. If they go out they can have the phones but the phones must be tucked into a pocket or bag and turned off. They’re for emergencies only. To ensure that they are listening to our instructions when we’re not around, we use a cell phone spy app.
Our Kids Were Pissed
I think people in Arizona could hear my kids wailing when I told them about the summer cell phone rules. And I know some people reading this are judging me right now. I don’t care. They have the rest of their lives to spend their days tethered to a phone just in case an email comes in or their boss calls or a friend needs something. During the summer they should get time to just be kids.
So instead of spending their days glued to a phone my kids will spend the summer reading, playing in the yard, playing with their friends, and doing nothing. Doing nothing is now a radical thing for kids to do. We have their time so scheduled and structured that kids don’t know how to amuse themselves anymore. They don’t know how to use their imaginations and they don’t know what it’s like to just be bored sometimes. And that’s not preparing them for the future.
Live in the 90s, in the 2000s
Sometimes kids need to be bored so they can figure out how not to be. They need to learn how to solve problems without consulting Google. They need to be responsible for their own actions, and their own boredom. It’s an unpopular parental stance but it’s the stance we’re taking for the summer. And I won’t apologize for it.
Sure, kids need to learn how to use technology too. But they can do that all year. They can only experience the satisfying wham-bang of a screen door closing or the joy of spending the night in a tent in the yard with friends during the summer. So that’s what my kids will be doing this year.
If you like blogs liked this blog post, we encourage you to check out wehavekids’s blog about the pros and cons of taking your kids cell phone.