In this day and age it’s rare to find a home, or an individual, that doesn’t have a computer or laptop, internet, ipods, cell phones, and other means of staying connected to the rest of the world. What’s more uncommon to find are people who don’t excessively overuse these items. Many of us, whether we know it or like to admit it or not, display some level of addiction to these gadgets.
Case in point: the computer in our home. What started out as a valuable resource for learning and entertainment, has slowly, but ever so surely, morphed into the default past time, for kids and adults alike. Waking hours are spent on games and cartoons for the kids, and facebooking, blogsurfing and emailing for the parents. (Wait. Okay, to be completely fair to my husband, I should mention here that he’s not a facebooker, myspacer, tweeter, blogger, or any other internet “-er.” He’s about the only person in our house who actually checks his email, reads the news, and signs off).
Now, being a family of six with only 1 computer and 1 laptop – which my husband takes to work with him most days – dividing usage time equally and fairly can be a challenge. Most days I’m trying to occupy the kids with something so I can get my “fix”, or, breaking up arguments between them over who got more turns, who’s turns are the longest, who’s supposed to go first, who broke the rules, etc., etc. This in turn, disturbs, annoys, and aggravates me to no end.
I know, I know, bickering amongst siblings is normal, but what bothers me is that they seem to not know how to function without the computer. I’m not so bad, since, being a housewife and a student, I have lots of tasks with my name on them, calling out, begging, pleading for me to complete them 🙂 ! But these guys, on the rare days I’ve decided the computer’s staying off, they whine and pout and walk around the house complaining of boredom. They have a few toys, a good amount of board games, and loads of books, but what they seem to have lost is the ability to use their imaginations to have fun, a skill we all know is so important in a child’s development.
I guess if I wasn’t concerned about their growing into well-rounded, decent, intelligent human beings, this wouldn’t bother me so much. But alas, I’m their mother, and in addition to that, I’m a muslim. And as a muslim mother, I know that I am responsible for my children’s upbringing, and more importantly, what they become will only be the result of time and dedication I give to them right now.
So I’ve decided to implement our own Screen Free Week in our home. We don’t have a t.v. or ipods or video games or any of that stuff, so it’ll just be no turning on the computer for a whole week. I think it’s a necessary change in order to get my kids – and myself – to use our imaginations and think of new (and perhaps old) ways to spend our time and have fun. I’m hoping it will teach all of us to be able to function without the computer, and realize that there is a life without it.
Inshaa Allaah, we’ll be starting on Tuesday, 25th of January. I chose this day since it’s the first day that all the kids will be home on midterm break. I also figured the midterm break would be the best time to implement this, since everyone being home all day would definitely force us to put on our thinking caps and be more creative inshaa Allaah. We’ll see how things work out! I’ll be keeping a journal of course and tell you all about it when we’re done inshaa Allaah.
Two things I need from my readers: 1) Keep us in your prayers that we pass this time with flying colors; and 2) Ideas!!!!! What are some things they/I/we can do?
Jazakum Allaahu khayran and many thanks in advance.
P.S.- I’m still in on postaweek2011, but once we start the Screen Free Week, my next post won’t be until the week is up (1st of February) inshaa Allaah.