Smartphone free home

I have the habit of randomly trawling social media and websites from my smartphone that I know is anti-social but helps fill the moments of tedium between bouts of intense activity. Recently, I’ve been exceptionally busy at work and have just finished a 16 day stint without a day off, so all I’ve wanted to do when I get home is sit down and not move until it’s time to herd the children in the vague direction of bed.

The combination of the two above factors led the boy to plaintively state, “Daddy, you spend all your time on your phone and you’re neglecting us.” Point taken, even if his further analysis of what I could be doing instead did enter the realms of the surreal fairly quickly, including but not limited to:

  • Building a life size working TARDIS
  • Watching LEGO Movie for the 1,000th time
  • Take part in a 4 hour Mario Kart 8 marathon
  • Magic up a large LEGO set from nowhere and watch them build it
  • Providing an endless supply of sweets and making sure that sweet potato is off the menu
  • Take him to Forbidden Planet (at 6:30pm on a Tuesday evening)
It’s difficult because the two eldest, the boy and Fifi, have never really been kids that play with toys. They rough and tumble with each other, build stuff with construction toys, play video games, watch telly, chase each other, dress up and do loads of stuff but given the number of action figures (Imaginext, Little People, Scooby-Doo sets, My Little Ponies, etc) they don’t give them much attention. Young Ned is completely the opposite and it’s a delight to sit and watch him play with his Octonaut set or his sisters Scooby-Doo toys and it’s easy to join in, even if I have to be the zombies rather than any of the cool characters.
But I have made the concious decision to leave my smartphone in the bedroom while the kids are up and sink right back down to their level, no matter how hard it will be. The biggest challenge will be finding any point outside of work that isn’t child filled since it’s the school holidays and they’re often still up making a fuss at gone 9pm at the moment.
Wish me luck.