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conflicted about my computer use

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
so in the spirit of being more waldorfy (because we agree with the principles) i have tried to wrangle my use of the computer while dd is around. this is a bit tricky for me because i feel that a lot of my support comes in an email format. it seems the best way to keep in touch with friends, family, like-mindeds, etc. but i don't want her to think i value it more than her....there is a balance. ideally i'd like to keep playsilks over the computer when she is awake and only use it at night or during naps....which sounds easier than i think it'd be.

so how do you deal with this in your home??? tia!
post #2 of 48
Thanks for bringing this up. It's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. Our computers are in DH's office just down the hall from the kids bedroom and playroom so I do try to pop on whenever they are playing well and by themselves (I realize this is trickier with only one child). I have started just turning off the computer for long chunks of the day so I can't get sucked in and shutting the office door.

It's a real struggle for me since I do find so much support online (thank you MDC moms!). But I've also made a concerted effort these past few weeks to schedule playdates and braving the weather outdoors so my entire life isn't just online.

Thanks again for posting this, I'm really looking forward to reading others responses!
post #3 of 48
Well, ideally I would limit my PC use to when they are in bed/resting/napping/busy with Dad or at school. Of course that doesn't always happen.
post #4 of 48
i struggle with this a LOT!!

it's even harder for me because we live in a town of about 150, many of whom are much older and staunch republicans. there are exactly 6 kids in out town and only 1 who is ds's age. she comes from a very traditionally disciplined family and it just breaks my heart.

there is one neighboring town of about 500 and other than that it's almost 2 hours to the next big town. i love the quiet, and the small town thing, folks are "neighborly", and we share things with each other because who'd want to go all the way to reno to get a plumbing piece?, and everyone in town knows my children by name and the local cop will always stop to talk to us and ask us if we need water when we're out walking.

i guess i'm bringing this up because for me the computer is my _only_ way to connect with people that have the same sort of ideals and values regarding children as i do. it's really my only way to be exposed to new ideas about things (food, nutrition, gd, waldorfy stuff). when i cut down on computer time i start to feel really isolated.

BUT when i tune out in front of it i'm totally not present with my children. and that doesn't serve us either.

it's a really hard balance. i think turning it off is HUGE! our wireless was down for a week and my house was clean and my children were happy and we did projects left and right.... it's hard if the temptation is always there.
of course, i did miss several good co-op deals but my dh would debate me about that being a bad thing .

i'll be watching for tips too!
post #5 of 48
yeah no tips, but i am an addict.

I NEED to check my email constantly and im on messenger so i get that little white envelope at the bottom of the screen adn I cant help it I HAVE to check

I have the computer (laptop) in the kitchen/ play room area, so im on during meals mostly, she feeds herself or makes a mess while i check things online usually its facebook, this site, email and maybe news or weather or something. O and messenger with friends or work stuff..... yeah it turns into a lot

I've tried closing the screen but i feel very isolated with it. We don't leave the house for days and days though and I have no friends or family or support system really so the computer has become all that for me and i argue that it keeps me sane.

I am really working on getting on less. Maybe I should try to turn it off during the day for a week and see what happens? Im worried I will have hundreds of emails by the end of the day though... yes this does happen with all the digests and lists both for work and for mothering.....

just saying youre not alone
post #6 of 48
You're definitely not alone, but unfortunately I don't have any tips. I have really good intentions that I will confine my computer time to naptime and maybe half an hour or so in the evening when my husband is home. That I will spend more time doing housework and hobbies and paying attention to my son. Because I've found, more often than not, I'm a lot happier when I don't fritter my day away online, and I don't want my son thinking the computer is more important to me than he is. Yet here I sit, on the computer, while he entertains himself nearby. I don't think I can cut it out entirely, because I use the computer for paying bills/updating Quicken, and my sisters and I communicate primarily by e-mail. But I intend to see how it goes if I restrict myself to getting on maybe every other day, or for a brief, set time each day (like 2 to 2:30 p.m., for example).
post #7 of 48
: this is a HUGE struggle for me too!
post #8 of 48
This is a huge problem for me. Since I run a business online I think it gets even harder to balance computer time. I really need to re evaluate how my time is spent because I know too much gets allotted for computer usage.
post #9 of 48
I made myself a rule: no computer when they're awake. That said, my two children, do take an hour long rest time during the day, which allows me to check my email. I came to this hard and fast rule when I struggled with telling my 4 year old that she couldn't play the computer games we had been doing (this happened during our transition to Waldorf ways). I realized that I needed to be an example to her.

I find that if I do try to do something really quick while they're awake, I just get irrirated when they interrupt me and they quickly seem to "need" me. I feel they can sense that I've "left the house" so to speek, and they want me back! And, yes, I get more done and have more fun with them too, by following this rule. Since my kids go to sleep at 7pm, I still have lots of time to catch up and connect...

Rachel
post #10 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by racheleuphoria View Post
I made myself a rule: no computer when they're awake. That said, my two children, do take an hour long rest time during the day, which allows me to check my email. I came to this hard and fast rule when I struggled with telling my 4 year old that she couldn't play the computer games we had been doing (this happened during our transition to Waldorf ways). I realized that I needed to be an example to her.

I find that if I do try to do something really quick while they're awake, I just get irrirated when they interrupt me and they quickly seem to "need" me. I feel they can sense that I've "left the house" so to speek, and they want me back! And, yes, I get more done and have more fun with them too, by following this rule. Since my kids go to sleep at 7pm, I still have lots of time to catch up and connect...

Rachel
thanks rachel. many of your points resonate with me (like the part about getting irritated during interruptions). it is good to hear that you have created boundaries. i guess that is really what i am striving for.

when i step outside of myself for a moment and take a look at what i am doing, me at the computer and dd playing or vying for my attention, it saddens me. i know she is learning by imitation and when i really take a look at what i am teaching her, i know it's not in line with my values.

so i'll strive to do better. it is kind knowing i am not alone in this struggle. i wish peace to you all in wrestling with this while simultaneously working to create peace in my life too.

i will love to continue hearing ideas, thought and suggestions in this realm as well as just plain commiserations.
post #11 of 48
That last part that Rachel wrote really echos the problem I've had. I *do* check out when I'm on the computer and get very short with the kids if they interrupt me. I've recently begun another effort (b/c I've fallen off the wagon in the past) to seriously limit my computer time - for the sake of my kids, myself, my family, my house. Everything falls apart when I fall into the habit of being here all day long. But like many of you, this is where I find the bulk of my support. It's very hard.

Anyway, my new routine - I typically check my email/new posts first thing in the morning, usually while the kids are eating their breakfast. Then I turn off the computer. I probably check it again around lunch time (same routine) but since I already checked in in the morning, it tends to be a very quick check. Once everyone is asleep at night I can have time to really be online. I am, however, being very careful not to spend too much time online regardless. I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.
post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.


yes...me too, me too. i just have had this image in my mind the last couple of days of dd being 15 and wanting to be on the computer all of the time and me sitting and wanting her to play. i know if i keep on this...that is what is coming. would i want to be in her shoes, no....so thus....i implement changes .

better go and finish up my online stuff before my sweet tot wakes up.
post #13 of 48
Another mama struggling with this issue.

My DD is almost five and recently started asking to use the computer to do her writing and check her e-mail ("Like you do mama.") which bothers me on many levels.

I've cut back my online time significantly. And I now do all my blog updates on the weekend when DH is home and then schedule them to post during the week so I'm not trying to do that during the day. And I also have two days a week that my kids are in childcare when I work (writing) from home.

These things have all helped but I still find myself struggling with my relationship with the computer and what I am teaching my children about it.

Yesterday we did pick up a used typewriter from the thrift store for DD to play around with. All she really likes to do on the computer is type letters so I'd prefer if she did that without staring at a screen.

Speaking of which, time for me to sign off.

THanks for this discussion.
post #14 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmama View Post
Yesterday we did pick up a used typewriter from the thrift store for DD to play around with. All she really likes to do on the computer is type letters so I'd prefer if she did that without staring at a screen.

Speaking of which, time for me to sign off.

THanks for this discussion.
i have mulled over the idea of a typewriter. i'd like to know how it goes for you. it is probably not age appropriate for my tot yet, but i have it in the back of my mind as a possibility for later.

so today i have only been on the computer when dd has been asleep....early this am before she woke and now during nap. and i am having fun watching myself and how i am choosing to spend my time instead of popping in to take a peek at my inbox. i've done quite a lot in a little amount of time! it feels good to increase my productivity!
post #15 of 48
I keep my laptop in the middle of our living space. I do my main email checking during naptime, but definitely take advantage of any free time I have. Sometimes our house gets more messy than I like it b/c I choose computer over picking up, but like op's have said: the computer is a huge part of my networking/inspiration/friends etc. I think the positive outweighs the negative.

That being said, whenever I find myself getting frustrated with my kids when I am trying to do something online I take it as a reminder to reassess and rearrange. Sometimes I will take a whole day/weekend off or I won't turn it on until after lunch. That helps and I feel good about maintaining balance.
post #16 of 48
Thinking about the same things.

:
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
That last part that Rachel wrote really echos the problem I've had. I *do* check out when I'm on the computer and get very short with the kids if they interrupt me. I've recently begun another effort (b/c I've fallen off the wagon in the past) to seriously limit my computer time - for the sake of my kids, myself, my family, my house. Everything falls apart when I fall into the habit of being here all day long. But like many of you, this is where I find the bulk of my support. It's very hard.

Anyway, my new routine - I typically check my email/new posts first thing in the morning, usually while the kids are eating their breakfast. Then I turn off the computer. ... Once everyone is asleep at night I can have time to really be online. I am, however, being very careful not to spend too much time online regardless. I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.
This, pretty much exactly. I go online with my morning tea, turn the thing OFF and then online again at naptime.

Which has just ended. Excuse me!
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
That last part that Rachel wrote really echos the problem I've had. I *do* check out when I'm on the computer and get very short with the kids if they interrupt me. I've recently begun another effort (b/c I've fallen off the wagon in the past) to seriously limit my computer time - for the sake of my kids, myself, my family, my house. Everything falls apart when I fall into the habit of being here all day long. But like many of you, this is where I find the bulk of my support. It's very hard.

Anyway, my new routine - I typically check my email/new posts first thing in the morning, usually while the kids are eating their breakfast. Then I turn off the computer. I probably check it again around lunch time (same routine) but since I already checked in in the morning, it tends to be a very quick check. Once everyone is asleep at night I can have time to really be online. I am, however, being very careful not to spend too much time online regardless. I've come to realize that I need to actually LIVE my life more and not just daydream it away online. So now I'm following a chore chart and staying offline for the most part and finding that I'm enjoying my kids, my house looks great, and I feel so.much.better! When I think about going back to my old ways I tell myself, "you're a MUCH better mom when you're not online" and that helps a lot. After all, that's what I want - to be the best I can be for them.
thats me 100% minus the new routine, i need to figure one out still.
post #19 of 48
I'm struggling with the same thing, and I totally understand what the previous poster said about being short with DD while I'm on the computer. DD has recently given up her daily nap, and so I don't have those two hours to spend online - which is where I get my support, like others have mentioned. So it's harder for me, but I'm making an effort to get up after DD goes to sleep (not falling asleep with her as I usually do) and take that extra hour to myself so that I can catch up on things online so I'm not getting on at all hours of the day.
post #20 of 48
Thread Starter 
gosh wouldn't this all be easier if we just lived closer. then we wouldn't have to be online and could let the kids have adventures together while we have a cup of tea, knit and discuss steiner.

oh in an ideal world....i'd have you all over for pancakes in pajamas. there i put a magical spell in the air...maybe it will all come true (well i am a girl with dreams, can't help it, ha!).

hillary
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