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The Big Picture

The No-Phone Zone

Many, many years ago when my oldest two children were little, we lived on the edge of a cotton field just outside of Memphis.  We had two kids, one car, and few neighbors.  Almost every day I would take the kids on the 3/4 of a mile walk down the gravel road to the mail box in hopes of hearing from the latest editor to whom I had sent a submission.

Life was simple.  Because we had no car during my husband's work hours, there was no where to go; with our very limited budget, there was nothing to buy. As Bethany and Tiger put it, they had a cotton field and a mud puddle. 

Fast forward eight more kids and twenty years. We have two cars, Internet, cable, iPods, iPhones, an XBox, and a Wii.  

Hands Free Mama, one of the few blogs I usually take time to read, said it best.  It was her recent post "A Reason for the Listening Face" that actually got my wheels turning about being more intentional about the time we spend on all these gadgets.  You can read it here:

Have you gotten your iPhone yet?   Could you tell me where the self-control app is located?  

I don't want my kids to remember me always looking at my iPhone while they are talking to me.  And from this day forward, I am going to be more intentional about it. 

Here are my on purpose No Phone Zones: 

  • mornings before school.
  • afternoons after school. 
  • any time the family is hanging out.
  • dinner time and just before bed. 

In her book, It's Always Something, the late Gilda Radner tells a story about her cousin's dog who got tangled up with a lawn mower and lost her hind legs. The dog was expecting a litter of puppies, Radner writes, and they thought for sure she would have to be put down.  But surprisingly the vet said no, the puppies were fine; she could deliver them.

The dog eventually learned to walk without hind legs: step, step, scoot; step, step, scoot.  The time came; she delivered the puppies.  She nursed them and weaned them.  And when they learned to walk, they all walked like their mother.  

No, there's no self control app on that screen, only inside of me.  And if my kids are going to learn social media etiquette, it has to start with me.  

For we all know that kids grow up and not to do what we say, but what we do.  

9 Comments to The No-Phone Zone:

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Pan on Monday, March 24, 2014 1:36 PM
This is a wonderful message. I have noticed when families are out to dinner everyone is on a device and no one is talking or laughing. It is so sad.
Reply to comment
margie on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:47 AM
Sure was plenty of laughter around your dinner table when we were kids. Especially when I read the Bible verse for the night and in my ignorance pronounced the "P" in Psalms!

Emma Sims on Monday, March 24, 2014 2:02 PM
This is true mommy. Whatever you do, I do. If you began walking like that dog, you can bet that you would have 10 kids step step scooting right behind you. Love you!
Reply to comment
margie on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:46 AM
Thank you, my sweet Emma!

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