Friday, October 7, 2011

Disconnect to Reconnect

I went to a workshop yesterday called      
"A Cracked Foundation" 
How virtual parenting is destroying children.

It was horrifying and convicting.

The research based statistics are more than sobering

30% of children enter school developmentally delayed due to sedentary lifestyle, will fail grade 4 and 7 exams, and wont finish highschool!

TV and video game use is associated with delays in fine/gross motor and speech development.

France and Australia have banned all "Baby TV" due to the negative impact on child development and the Baby Einstein DVD series is being refunded by Disney.

Obesity increases 6% for every hour of TV watched per day, 31% if the TV is in the bedroom.

TV, gaming and internet addictions are the fastest growing mental illness in Adults.

Infants are watching 2.5 hours of TV per day - 25% of this is unsupervised
Preschoolers are watching 4.5 hours a day
And children 8 -18 use combined technology for 7.5 hours per day

I felt pretty uneasy sitting there.  I know we over use technology in our house.  I know I overuse technology.

When I saw all the negative effects especially with social and emotional disconnection I knew I needed to go home and talk to my family about this whole topic.

I so quickly want to justify my actions and say we don't do too badly.  We eat dinner together at the table, no devices or TV's in bedrooms, no devices used 30 minutes before bed (so brains can shut down), we are physically active, we do things together.......

I also know that the devices are necessary and may even be helpful in some areas - cell phones for safety etc...I want the technology to connect to my kids.....

BUT the bottomline, at least for me, is there is too much in our house and too much time, family time, being wasted on TV, Computers, iPods/iPhones, kindles...... I think this may be a tough sell for my preteen and teen children! To be honest do I even want to give up the time I spend on technology?

There is much to be discussed but at the workshop they suggested  two things I want to think more about:

  • One hour in = one hour out..... for every hour spent watching TV/playing games/social networking /blogging another hour should be spent doing something either physical or social.

  • To make a goal of no devices in use for 1 hour a day (dinner time), 1 day a week, one week a year!

I include the video below - it's almost 8 minutes long and the end is somewhat self-promoting of their products but if you can watch the first 2 minutes I encourage you to.  And feel free to poke around the Zone In website for some good research and information.

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