Digital Detox. Impossible? Not.


My sister, you’ve met her before on this blog.  Remember?  The one with the Cleanest.Kids.In.America (  Well, she’s back.  This time with an extremely valuable lesson for us all.

A lesson besides how to keep your kids really, really clean 😉

She and her husband, John, have four amazing children ages 6-13 years.  Three of those amazing children are!  And the 13-year-old is a girl.

Yep.  It’s a home of tackle inside football and knocked over candlesticks on one side.  On the other, a beautiful teenage girl with a phone attached to her ear.  Or, more appropriately, fingers since it’s a texting world.

And each child has his/her very own electronic.  Be it a Nintendo DS, iPad, phone, or Kindle.  They are tech savvy kids.  Not necessarily due to their mommy.  She is a pro at phone calls and instant messages—but that’s about it.  Their daddy, on the other hand, his business revolves around the computer.  And he is brilliant at his job.

His kids…yep.  They definitely got that savvy from their daddy.

But they, John and Darby, decided to do something that is nearly unheard of in nearly any part of this world today—they decided to ditch the digital for an entire month!  And they dragged their kids along for the ride.

This means:  Darby and John used their phones and computers only for work.  Emails solely in regards to work (Now John, his business is Internet websites and hosting—so he had to actually do a lot of work on the computer, but it stopped at that.  Work.  Check out his newest business about to open here:

The kids.  No hand-held devices.  No phones.  No computers.

But they expanded it:  no TV, no radio, no Xbox.  And this rule applied to all.

And for Darby and John, the parents, that also meant no social media.  None.  Yikes!

Pretty much it became the times of the Amish inside a very electric-lit home.

In the cars, the same thing.  No radio.  No electronics.

On their road trips.  No radio.  No electronics.  And, believe me, in a month’s time with 4 kids and two parents packed into one vehicle, they went on several car trips that racked up hours in the vehicle at one drive.

And my sister, to quote her, “I thought the month would be impossible.  After all, I have 3 boys!  Three.  I had no idea how we would make it in the car without electronics.”

My own sister, Darby, thought that their family decision was perhaps a very impossible idea.  How would she survive?

But survive they did.  And not just barely, hanging on to their very last shreds of sanity.  They survived brilliantly.

They swam, they ran, they played.

The couches.  Forget using them for the entire month.  They were continual forts and dungeons and indoor trampoline pads.

They visited museums and took art classes.  They played in the sand and learned how to “talk and play” in the car.  Even the car rides of 3 hours proved blissfully full of laughter and good times.  My sister initially feared bickering and threats of don’t make me pull over the car.  Nope.  The car rides even became times of continuous imagination and play.

Digital Detox.  It sounds impossible in today’s world.  My sister, her husband, and their four (did I mention FOUR very active children) proved that it is not.

It was a month of peace and family.  It was a month of imagination.   It was a month of culture and creativity.  It was a month of outdoors and dirty feet.  It was a month of community service and feeding the poor.  It was a month of chess games.  More chess games.  And even more chess games.  It was a month of evening gatherings in the family room where they read books together.  It was a month of renewed, revived family.  Time with family.

And they survived.  Even without the TV.

Digital Detox.  Sounds impossible.  I guess the cleanest kids in America proved that it’s not.


Here’s Darby’s list of “What they learned” during their month (I’ll highlight just a few from her original list):

1.  My house was messier without electronics because every cushion was off of the couch, every craft project was out, and every board game was played.

2.  The kids listened better.  One of goals for the month.

3.  The kids picked up after themselves better.  Our other goal for the month.

4.  The kids were calmer in the head.  Does that makes sense?

5.  Our time was intentional.

6.  Gabe, our oldest son, can now go to sleep without the radio.  And I, Darby, can now go to sleep without the TV.

7.  We had to ask friends and family for updates around the world.

8.  We missed watching football (American football) the most!

Tell me here.  Could you do it?  Would you do it?  Truly, a great challenge for all!

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