We have an “unplug time” in our home. Times we ask our kids to…well…unplug. My mom never had to do this with me because back then, for those of you who are old enough to remember, there wasn’t much to unplug!
To be honest it wasn’t easy to start “unplug time” around our house. My two boys with moderate-severe autism can independently manipulate both the TV and computer. Not only that, but these two electronic devices keep them entertained for 45-60 minutes at a time. Time that my wife and I can accomplish some things ourselves or simply sit back and relax for awhile.
So, why do we get our kids to unplug in our home? Because it increases the quantity and quality of time that my wife and I spend with them. Time building and maintaining a relationship with them…not just physically being around them but interacting with them.
In an article I read yesterday, the author discussed the effect of not unplugging on our goal of building Goldy character in our children. Failing to unplug can create a vacuum for constant entertainment and media stimulation. Here is a quote from the article:
- “A 2006 Yahoo online poll reported that the average U.S. family owns 12 tech devices, including three TVs, two computers, and seven other gadgets such as MP3 players, video game consoles and mobile phones. Poll respondents said their overlapping use of all these devices adds up to about 43 hours during each 24-hour day.”
Sound like your house?
Unless we make a deliberate effort to unplug, we can literally be entertained all day long. That doesn’t leave much room for important spiritual pursuits like praying (1 Thes. 5:17), meditating on God’s Word (Josh. 1:8, Ps. 1:2) examining ourselves (Lam. 3:40, 1 Cor. 11:28 and 2 Cor. 13:5) and passing our faith on to our child[ren].
It’s not that technology is bad, but its constant presence can distract us from what Michelle Anthony states is our primary purpose as parents:
- “…to teach our children the awe-inspiring wonder of who God is, how to have a relationship with Him, and what it looks like to live our lives for Him and through Him” (pg. 17, Spiritual Parenting).
So create some unplug time today. Unplug the TV, stereo, Xbox, Playstation, Wii, iPad, computer, or whatever else gets in the way of spending quality time with your kids and investing in the thing that really matters most…developing a transforming faith with their Heavenly Father.
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Michael Woods, M.A. BCaBA