Turning on the TV or handing over the iPad might seem like an easy way for a mom to get a little quiet time, but it can lead to fighting and bad attitudes. Eliminating screen time helped one mom discover positive new outlooks for the whole family.

The allure of screen time

Moms develop creative ways to get things done around the house: dance parties to pick up toys, talking about colors while sorting laundry and the Tupperware cupboard for dinner prep distraction. Even the best distractions fall short during inopportune moments like a phone call that doesn't welcome chatter in the background or a new dinner recipe that calls for close attention. Screen time seems like the perfect solution for those quiet-needed moments, and frustrated moms pick up remote controls, pull up iPad preschool apps or slide in a favorite DVD.

How technology fails your family

The blissful, productive silence can soon fall into chaos. Mornings start with whining to play a computer game. Instead of making that important phone call, mom quickly checks her email, which leads to a 30-minute foray into researching the latest recommendations on when to introduce allergy-trigger foods.

An expert speaks out

Sometimes parents and children need to disconnect in order to connect.

David Ryan Polger is an attorney and author of Wisdom in the Age of Twitter who explores how a technology glut is changing the way we think and who advocates for a technology diet. He says, "Sometimes parents and children need to disconnect in order to connect. If left to their own devices, parents and children will spend far too much time in the protective cocoon of the digital world. By lowering the total amount of time children spend on their virtual connections, such as having smartphone-free dinners and outdoor hikes without digital distraction, parents are able to increase the emotional connections with their children and plug back into their lives."

One mom's technology diet

Her kids only use technology on the weekends, and she and her husband wait until the children are asleep.

Jazzmin is the mother of four children, aged 2, 4, 6 and 15. She and her family have eliminated much screen time from their lives. Her kids only use technology on the weekends, and she and her husband wait until the children are asleep to catch up on email and other screen time pursuits. The technology restrictions were put in place to reduce stress over arguments about technology usage. The technology hiatus has changed her attitude, and those of her family members, for the better. "I feel that we (the adults) are more attentive to the kids, and they are less likely to act out, if we stay off screens while in their presence."

Find your own technology comfort zone

Just like any diet, finding the technology balance for your family is a matter of trial-and-error. Technology remains a main pipeline for our information. Eliminating it completely might be impossible for your family, but finding a balance will help all moms increase their productivity without increasing their stress.

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