Recently my daughter made a poor choice. The details of her poor choice are not relevant here. What is relevant is her punishment. My husband and I opted to take away her beloved Kindle Fire tablet for a week. She doesn't get much device time during the week anyway, but here's what happened over the weekend:
- On Saturday, instead of looking at her device during the 30 minute drive to her soccer game, she talked to us, and started reading a Magic Tree House book (the first one she's read on her own). She periodically piped up from the back with remarks like: "I can read the word 'difficult.'" She read some more when she got home.
- On Sunday morning, instead of staying home to watch videos on her device, she went with my husband to the gym, where she played in the Kids' Club with several friends who were there.
- On Sunday afternoon she entertained herself for an hour in the playroom, constructing a sculpture out of Uno cards, tape, dice, and wooden skewers.
I'm sure there have been other incidents over the week in which, by not having access to her device, she did something that I, for one, view as a better use of her time. Something involving reading books, playing with other kids, building something, or some other physically or intellectually engaging pursuit. But you get the idea. It was quite refreshing.
I'm not planning to take away her device forever. It's truly wonderful when we are traveling. She also has apps that she's supposed to do for school, and from which she probably is learning something. But what I've noticed is that the more time she spends on the device, the more time she wants to spend on the device. She is cranky and miserable when it is taken away. She is oblivious to our questions and instructions when she is using it. She believes that she can multi-task (e.g. putting on her soccer cleats while watching) but she takes approximately forever to get anything done.
So, having her off of her device for a week has been a blessing. While I won't be hoping for future bad choices on her part, I will be quick to use this form of consequence again when the need arises.