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Going digital Cold Turkey…

1
I need to break my kids addiction to YouTube, in a bid to stop the daily mass fall out that happens when we don’t have time to watch some random person on the internet open Kinder Eggs before we leave the house.

This has been said before, and I think I thought people were over exaggerating prior to witnessing it, but YouTube videos of people opening Kinder Eggs or surprise toy bags are literally like a crack addiction for my children. It’s a pretty ageless addiction too, the two year old is just as mesmerised watching Paw Patrol animals come out of

SelfishMother.com
2
a plastic egg as her four year old brother.

Bizarrely if I actually bought my children a dozen Kinder Eggs this would occupy them for roughly 3 minutes 27 seconds before they lost interest (and after 6 chocolate eggs each they would be on the ceiling). But watching someone they don’t know open them on a screen – that can keep them entertained for hours upon hours!

Like most parents the thing I crave above all other things in life these days is: A LIE IN! Managing to stay in bed until 8.30am is like the holy grail of parenting wins. So like many

SelfishMother.com
3
before me at 6am when a little person arrived in my bed wanting me to play with them I reached for an iPad! This is where it began. I got the ’You Tube crack’ out and handed it over with my eyes shut whilst my kids slid down the slippery slope to digital addiction.

It started innocently with back to back episodes of Peppa Pig (I know she’s a petulant little sh*t, with no manners and the most annoying voice known to man, but she could score me two hours longer in bed, what can I say I’m cheap when it comes to sleep), then we got to the B class

SelfishMother.com
4
stuff – people acting out stories with Peppa/ Disney figurines. Then the hard stuff – hours upon hours of Kinder eggs being opened, bags being ripped open, odd Plasticine balls being peeled back to discover plastic figures from Paw Patrol, Fireman Sam, Peppa Pig or My Little Pony! With endless similar videos on the side reel, further gear to get stuck into.

I didn’t really notice, didn’t put two and two together until I went to a Mothers Meeting ’Quility App’ Event. The ’All About Me Mama’ met up was to promote the Quility mindfulness for

SelfishMother.com
5
mothers app. Endorsed by an instagram all star panel of Edith Bowman @edibow, @mother_of_daughters, Clemmie Hooper, Anna Whitehouse of @Mother_Pukka fame and Jenny Scott who set up @mothersmeetings. At the very beginning of the session Jenny asked us a series of questions about our phone usage, and if being without it made us feel Anxious? Nervous? Unsafe? Terrifyingly, these feelings I admitted to feeling when without my phone, were akin to the feelings heroin addicts feel when coming off the drug. So strong is the addiction to social media and digital
SelfishMother.com
6
devices.

The morning after the event, when I witnessed nuclear fallout after saying ’the boy’ couldn’t have the iPad I realised I had done this to him! I had fed his addiction, like his dealer, screen time in exchange for sleep. I had made him feel anxious, unsafe, nervous, agitated. All feelings I’d popped my hand up and admitted to feeling the night before. But at four years old he couldn’t say ’Mummy I feel anxious, I don’t feel safe, you are making me feel agitated’ he just screamed blue murder and physically thrashed out. It wasn’t

SelfishMother.com
7
pretty.

So I made the kids go cold turkey on digital devices from that morning. I tried my hardest to go cold turkey too. They had no time on the ipad or our phones and only limited viewing time of the TV. It took a few days of epic tantrums, but it worked, they played, they played nicely together for hours. I only used my phone when they were in bed, Ilimited the time I used it infront of them massively and didn’t use it in bed myself. We were all a bit smug happy as a result, I was a total self righteous w*nker to friends about it, and then

SelfishMother.com
8
Christmas happened…. (sorry friends, we all knew it wouldn’t last, thanks for not saying I told you so xx)

Christmas = Two knackered parents at the end of a long year, two weeks off school, two weeks of time to fill and all to easily we slipped. In pursuit of a lie in, some peace as we tried to scrurry about getting ’the list’ done: out came the iPad. the phones, Netflix was put back on the TV, we recorded all the kids films shown in the Christmas scheduling.

So now we need to go through cold turkey again, to try to wean the children off the

SelfishMother.com
9
YouTube crack and go back to basics. Maybe we need to be a bit more realistic about it, technology is part of our lives and an all or nothing situation isn’t sustainable. I think it would be achievable to aim for say ’no technology in beds’ this maybe good place to start?

But oh how I LOVE a lie in, is giving your two year old an addiction akin to crack really that bad????

 

 

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- 17 Jan 17

I need to break my kids addiction to YouTube, in a bid to stop the daily mass fall out that happens when we don’t have time to watch some random person on the internet open Kinder Eggs before we leave the house.

This has been said before, and I think I thought people were over exaggerating prior to witnessing it, but YouTube videos of people opening Kinder Eggs or surprise toy bags are literally like a crack addiction for my children. It’s a pretty ageless addiction too, the two year old is just as mesmerised watching Paw Patrol animals come out of a plastic egg as her four year old brother.

Bizarrely if I actually bought my children a dozen Kinder Eggs this would occupy them for roughly 3 minutes 27 seconds before they lost interest (and after 6 chocolate eggs each they would be on the ceiling). But watching someone they don’t know open them on a screen – that can keep them entertained for hours upon hours!

Like most parents the thing I crave above all other things in life these days is: A LIE IN! Managing to stay in bed until 8.30am is like the holy grail of parenting wins. So like many before me at 6am when a little person arrived in my bed wanting me to play with them I reached for an iPad! This is where it began. I got the ‘You Tube crack’ out and handed it over with my eyes shut whilst my kids slid down the slippery slope to digital addiction.

It started innocently with back to back episodes of Peppa Pig (I know she’s a petulant little sh*t, with no manners and the most annoying voice known to man, but she could score me two hours longer in bed, what can I say I’m cheap when it comes to sleep), then we got to the B class stuff – people acting out stories with Peppa/ Disney figurines. Then the hard stuff – hours upon hours of Kinder eggs being opened, bags being ripped open, odd Plasticine balls being peeled back to discover plastic figures from Paw Patrol, Fireman Sam, Peppa Pig or My Little Pony! With endless similar videos on the side reel, further gear to get stuck into.

I didn’t really notice, didn’t put two and two together until I went to a Mothers Meeting ‘Quility App’ Event. The ‘All About Me Mama’ met up was to promote the Quility mindfulness for mothers app. Endorsed by an instagram all star panel of Edith Bowman @edibow, @mother_of_daughters, Clemmie Hooper, Anna Whitehouse of @Mother_Pukka fame and Jenny Scott who set up @mothersmeetings. At the very beginning of the session Jenny asked us a series of questions about our phone usage, and if being without it made us feel Anxious? Nervous? Unsafe? Terrifyingly, these feelings I admitted to feeling when without my phone, were akin to the feelings heroin addicts feel when coming off the drug. So strong is the addiction to social media and digital devices.

The morning after the event, when I witnessed nuclear fallout after saying ‘the boy’ couldn’t have the iPad I realised I had done this to him! I had fed his addiction, like his dealer, screen time in exchange for sleep. I had made him feel anxious, unsafe, nervous, agitated. All feelings I’d popped my hand up and admitted to feeling the night before. But at four years old he couldn’t say ‘Mummy I feel anxious, I don’t feel safe, you are making me feel agitated’ he just screamed blue murder and physically thrashed out. It wasn’t pretty.

So I made the kids go cold turkey on digital devices from that morning. I tried my hardest to go cold turkey too. They had no time on the ipad or our phones and only limited viewing time of the TV. It took a few days of epic tantrums, but it worked, they played, they played nicely together for hours. I only used my phone when they were in bed, Ilimited the time I used it infront of them massively and didn’t use it in bed myself. We were all a bit smug happy as a result, I was a total self righteous w*nker to friends about it, and then Christmas happened…. (sorry friends, we all knew it wouldn’t last, thanks for not saying I told you so xx)

Christmas = Two knackered parents at the end of a long year, two weeks off school, two weeks of time to fill and all to easily we slipped. In pursuit of a lie in, some peace as we tried to scrurry about getting ‘the list’ done: out came the iPad. the phones, Netflix was put back on the TV, we recorded all the kids films shown in the Christmas scheduling.

So now we need to go through cold turkey again, to try to wean the children off the YouTube crack and go back to basics. Maybe we need to be a bit more realistic about it, technology is part of our lives and an all or nothing situation isn’t sustainable. I think it would be achievable to aim for say ‘no technology in beds’ this maybe good place to start?

But oh how I LOVE a lie in, is giving your two year old an addiction akin to crack really that bad????

 

 

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A Mother, a Wife, a part-time Project Manager, a very bad but keen runner and a blogger. #badparent is my brutally honest & hopefully humorous (at times a little sweary) account of parenthood with my two tiny humans. http://hashtagbadparent.com/

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