My sweet 6 year old was playing quietly in her room with the doll house her daddy built her for Christmas. I told her it was time for lunch and she quickly said “I am going to eat and come right back in here to play, ok?” I reminded her that her little sister would need to take a nap as soon as lunch was over. She was upset and asked if I would please move the doll house out of there. It is solid wood and not the lightest thing but I loved that she wanted to play so I moved it.
At rest time, I allow our 4 & 6 year old to watch a few shows. We don’t do TV other than this block of time, unless it is family movie night or something. I had moved the doll house into the living room so she could play. After I started the show, my daughter said “can you mute it? I am too distracted to play with my doll house and really want to play!” I thought about turning off the TV, but selfishly I knew I needed our sweet boy to stay still for an hour so I could get stuff done, so I left the TV on and moved the doll house again, this time into my room.
“Mom, I really want to play with my doll house so bad but I just keep getting distracted with the TV!” Even when she wasn’t in the same room as the TV, it was distracting her.
My 6 year old has a desire to do something, but the TV being on overpowers her desires and keeps her distracted from what she is trying to do.
Wake up call. She is 6. If this doesn’t get my attention, I don’t know what will.
I feel we are mindful about electronics. We have kids who are 13 & 15 and they do not have personal cell phones. No one has unlimited access to video games, iPads, computers, or television. But the fact that the TV is this distracting to our 6 year old and keeping her from doing something she wanted to do, really alarmed me.
I have read articles, studies, blog posts, and listened to podcasts about technology and all of the negative effects. I have read warnings from other parents. I have examined my own negative habits. I have taken a break from social media for an extended period of time. I feel informed and aware but something about this didn’t sit well. It just felt like maybe what we were doing to protect our family wasn’t enough.
I had been reading in Romans a few days before this happened. Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”. In my notes on this section I wrote “The world is loud! It seems to always be drawing me in and distracting me.”
A few chapters later in Romans 14:13-23, it is talking about being careful not to cause others to stumble. As I read this, I thought about what causes me to stumble. My main questions were: What keeps me distracted from what I want to do? From what I value? From what I know God is calling me to do? Does my time spent on technology aline with my priorities? When I started answering these questions, I realized my phone is probably what trips me up the most. Even when I take a break from social media, I still struggle with wanting to be on my phone.
Technology is addicting. I don’t want to admit that, I know a lot of us don’t, but it is the unfortunate reality. When there is an addiction to something, the obvious first step would be to remove it from your life. After realizing just how much technology is effecting my family, even with boundaries, we are currently rethinking what is healthy for us. The Bible is fairly clear and says if something is causing you to sin, you should remove it. We live in a world that runs on technology so it feels very tricky to navigate this topic.
All I know is that I don’t want to wake up one day and realize all I have missed or lost by allowing the distractions of this world to create a roadblock to the life I want to live. I don’t have all the answers but felt I needed to share my heart on this. To start a conversation. Maybe you are here too. Looking at life and seeing that there are things that are keeping you from living your best life. Keeping you from what is most important to you.
Maybe today you need to ask yourself some hard questions and then come up with a plan to remove things from your life that are causing you to stumble. Maybe it isn’t technology. Maybe there is something else in your life that has a strong hold on you. Whatever it is, know that we all have something and if you are struggling, you are not alone!
One of the best things I ever did for myself was attending Celebrate Recovery. Going through the steps helped me learn how to identify things in my life that needed work. I always like to give CR a plug because I truly believe it is impactful and incredibly helpful! If you need more info please let me know and I will be happy to point you in the right direction. CR is for anyone with hurts, habits, or hangups (in case you didn’t know, that is all of us!).
So for now, this is just an encouragement to take a step for yourself and your family to see if there are any roadblocks keeping you from your best life. Today, our family is taking a good look at the technology we allow in our home. Tomorrow, I will probably become aware of something new….. One day at a time friends!