My honest review and account when my unschooling kids had unlimited use of technology .
Is it Technology that = no outside play or no real life experiences?
Did you know that children in todays modern society spend less then half the time outside as their parents did ? Yes it is true the advance of technology for our children's generation
has turned our children's childhoods into virtual ones,like a child robot watching the world through a window -there is no more playing real life games with physical friends, instead they do all these real life experiences through screens and not in reality , they do not get to use any of their 5 senses and learn about life through hands on opportunities like we did as young children before YouTube ,before the social network and before online gaming was widespread and readily available.
So The question is will their childhood be worth remembering,if their childhoods are spent mainly on screen?
what research says
The research shows that 71 per cent of Australian kids spend less than an hour a day outdoors, and one in two families do not spend time outdoors with their kids more than twice a week.The research also states that Australian kids between 8-16 years old are spending more than 30 hours a week glued to their screens. - that is like a casual job ! And the stats from around the world ? It’s estimated that kids and teens between the ages of 8 to 28 spend about 44.5 hours each week in front of digital screens.- how crazy is that !
honest behaviour problems I noticed when my Children had unlimited internet access
If your child spends too much time on the Internet, compulsive behaviour may develop. This can lead to an internet addiction, which just like any other type of addiction, can destroy a healthy balance of interests and activities in your childs life.
Here are some signs that my children developed when having as much free time to use their technologies as they liked and why we had to set some rules
stayed in bed rooms all day playing laptop / xbox
Yes when we were at home and not out adventuring , they would go straight on their laptop,iphone or Xbox and stay on it until either they went to sleep , had to use the bathroom or we had to go out .- this could sometimes be all day if we didnt go places !
did not play outside somedays
there were a few days they wouldnt even go outside at all ,
did not play in real life for more then several minutes or so at a time
new Christmas toys weren't being played with , drawing , painting ,riding or really anything that they had to do in real life " couldnt be done for more then several minutes at a time, before they needed to go back on their technology.
i will have a shower tomorrow
I will have a shower tomorrow became the new norm
i will eat dinner in here
wanting to Eat lunch, dinner and snacks in their rooms or wherever they were playing their tech became the new norm.
Emotional fallouts left right and centre
Became angry and/or agitated when interrupted while online, like trying to vacuum !
became irritable when access to the Web was denied or slow ,
constant sibling fighting , when on and off line , leaving one child out of games
incredibly moody and irritable when not able to play online for a day or two
when my children would draw or paint , they didnt try to be creative, they rushed to finish , they would draw something and not even be bothered to colour it in,. when before they were very creative, took time and had pure joy in creating
Pre-occupied with online life when offline
day dreaming about roblox even when riding scooter ( yes !)
When offline,constantly remained preoccupied with getting back online
Sacrificed doing new fun things, in order to hurry up and get back online
lost all interest in activities previously enjoyed before becoming obsessed with being online
late nights , early mornings
played until late- , late at night,11pm / woke up extra early to play
didn't have time to talk to relatives on phone
we live in another state from our relatives, so children were either to occupied and couldn't be bothered to call / facetime with grandparents, as they were to involved in whatever they were doing online
constantly saying im hungry
constantly saying they , were hungry and want food all of the time , even when they just ate.
turned into real life karens,
my children would always pick out negative points of things, before any positive ones , especially if it didnt involve them playing on phones, like going for a bike ride - this is boring - lets go home (so they could play on tech)
where they went , so did the phone
If you asked them to do something like take out the rubbish , the phone would remain in one hand
if my son went to the toilet he would sometimes still be holding the phone in the other hand
alot of things they had to do, they done quickly so they wouldnt have to put down the phone!
Yes at one point it got really bad and tech crazy around our house for a few months , when me and their father were pre occupied with renovations for our house flip!
That was it, we had to put up limits
As radical unschoolers ,i believe my children should be allowed the same values as myself, but this internet addiction became way to much.
So almost a month ago we had enough of the unlimited internet access, and the way they were living , we stopped the use of technology throughout the day and the kids can now only go on after 5:30pm most days! - with weekends being still unlimited, as we are usually out and about anyways . I think the use of technology is a great learning tool and I know how much the use of them has been in my childrens learning paths, especially as unschoolers.
But if a child who does not go to school is truly allowed as much time as they want on their technology, - the reality is they will become addicted and just chose that above all else
I think when children have unlimited access for a long period of time on their technology , major behavioural problems develop. So it is our responsibility as parents to remind them of the no wifi childhoods we all had when we were younger that we have great memories about, from time to time and reinforce some limits , if they are spending all of their time on it.