Being Present

I took a little break from the blog over the holidays and then gave myself a few more days to get back in the groove in my classroom.

Happy to say I am back with much more to say 😉

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We all know those people who are glued to their phones all the time. Those family members or friends who cannot just be “in the moment” and connect with other people. They also have to be “connected” to the internet. I would imagine , most everyone has had their moments of being that person and others are that way almost constantly.

Well, Collin and I both found ourselves in that position a little more than we were comfortable with. We would come home from work, eat dinner and then sit on the couch both on our phones. Now, truly we are million times better than most people our age but still it was something that was getting to both of us. Luckily, we are both capable of being on our phones and holding a conversation, but it just isn’t the same. So, we created a new rule for our family in 2017.

 

No technology between the hours of 5-8 pm. 

 

This means that our phones, tablet and computer are physically put in another room until 8:00pm each night. We put our phones on ring in case someone calls or texts and requires an immediate response. We also allow ourselves to look something up if it is important. Pictures of adorable Nora moments are also allowed. But, other than those exceptions, we don’t touch our devices.

So far, we have actually stuck with this for 10 days.

It has been the absolute best thing for our family! In those three hours we have found ourselves having great conversations, getting on the floor and playing more with Nora, playing more games and watching less t.v. (Television in our house is not really an issue, we never have it on when Nora is awake). Reading for pleasure had pretty much gone to the wayside for me and now I am halfway through a new book I started only a few days ago. Excitedly, I have cooked more and our house is cleaner and more organized. I have even been able to fit a time for working out in that mysteriously just wasn’t there before. We have been forced to do a lot more in those three hours and the results are amazing!

Maybe the best part of the whole thing is that Nora does not see her parents buried in their phones at all anymore. She sees parents who are attentive, present and who are doing things that make us more well rounded (Facebook and Instagram just don’t reap us many rewards).

The time we chose was strategic for our family’s schedule. I cannot check social media from work so I don’t see Facebook or Instagram all day. Collin can check his periodically throughout the day. So, when I get home at 4pm, I can check anything I have missed during the day. Collin gets home from work at 5pm and the “no technology hours begin”. We usually eat dinner around 5:30 and then pay with Nora until she goes to bed at 7. This gives us two “uninterrupted” hours as a family of three, then Collin and I have an hour with no technology just the two of us!

After 8:00 pm, if we choose to go grab our phones out of the other room we can, but many nights we don’t even notice what time it is and we continue doing our other activities. The other night Collin and I played Skip-Bo until 9:30! One night I made cookies another night I deep cleaned the bathrooms while Collin put away laundry. Tasks that would have been put off for days if we were messin’ around on our phones.

I challenge anyone reading this to try the rule out with your family for at least a week and see what kinds of things you find to do or what tasks you can accomplish that you “never had time for” before.

Here is an outline of our family’s rules. 

| Phones/tablet go in another room on a charger.

| Turn phones on high ring in case someone calls or texts.

| We can check texts and respond if it is important. If not important, respond after 8.

| If we are having a discussion and need to look something up. Both Collin and I have to agree if it is worth looking it up right then. For example, the other night we started a movie at 7:30 after Nora was asleep and we couldn’t place where we recognized an actor from. It was driving us crazy, so we looked it up and then left the phone in the other room until 8.

| If Nora is doing something adorable we can run and grab our phone to snap a picture. Picture cannot be posted on any site until after 8! Yep, we’re sticklers 🙂

| When the microwave clock says 8pm we can get our phones if we so desire!

 

It really has been so good for our little family and just helps us to be present with each other, more invested in moments and to hardly miss a thing! I plan on posting a list of some great options for anyone to do while not using their phone/device later on.

Let me know if you try this out and how it goes!

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