Cutting out devices in a digital world.. living slow in the tropics


So here we are a few weeks in and you might be wondering how we’ve been going with this whole digital detox with the kids.

As you know we left the iPad behind this time because it really annoyed me seeing Cam wanting to be on it all the time.  We also used to have a small portable dvd player here but its broken so we’ve been going cold turkey.  And so traveling with kids , especially this kind of slow travel where we are not out at adventure activities every day has been kinda challenging. Turns out its just the same crap in a different location.

But if you have kids I guess you probably already knew that..despite the pretty pics on my instagram feed.

They went ok at first, Willow is happy to colour and play and C was working on colouring and homework books too. I thought oh this is the way it should be, feeling all like some kind of parent of the year.

But as soon as C discovered that some of his soccer games had downloaded to my phone through ‘the ‘Cloud’ he has pretty much made it his mission to try and steal my phone as much as possible. Sneaking in stealth like to swipe the phone before it locked if i put it down.   And becoming intolerable at dinners with boredom so that we have to hand it over to get some peace.  Or trying to bargain with me ..anything he does is a negotiation in potential exchange for time on my phone.  So I’ve totally had to resist this kind of manipulation just to prove a point but wow its challenging.  Or in a less polite tone..annoying, painful, making me feel like I want to poke my eyes out ..yeah that may sum it up better.

Of course I have my laptop too and I’ve limited that to around W’s nap time or in the evening before bed.  C likes to watch people playing on youtube which I think seems more valuable than his previous love of watching other people play video games.   I mean he’s taught himself some pretty good soccer skills through watching coach youtube.

I do take him daily up to the local indoor Futsul Stadium here in Canggu, where we practices goal kicking or play with friends while they are here. Now started to invite himself into games with some of the locals.  That’s what is one good thing about him being out here with no one else his age..over these years he has learnt to become confident in going up to strangers and making friends. It totally helped when we picked up last year and started a new school, new house.. he knew how good he was at making friends and I always remind him.  And ask how many people say no they don’t want to play..FYI its none so its a pretty good strike rate to give him confidence.

So anyway back to the games… I guess I do have the option to just delete all the games from my phone. I never had any on there before for this very reason.  He was in bed sick before we came away so he was allowed to get some new games and thats how they ended up on my phone.  I deleted most but not all… WHY?  He won’t want it if there are none on there.

Maybe I like to have that back up.

Like an insurance policy if it does get too annoying.

It drives me crazy that he uses it and then I try to get on there to ‘work’ and its nearly out of charge.

It’s made me see that I need to schedule and fit more work into work time. I try to show him what I’m doing on my phone so he knows it’s work, ( to make me feel less guilty) but he doesn’t care. He just sees us on our phones. Cutting their screen time just made it more obvious how much my husband and I were on ours.

The simple truth really is that it’s us.

It’s us that are finding it hard to cut out the devices.

We are guilty.

Parenting has changed..we are expected to watch and entertain our kids 24/7.

We want a moment to chat, a moment to ourselves, a moment where we don’t have to entertain.

And I don’t think that’s asking too much.

But I don’t have the answer either..


Let me know what your thoughts are..


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