Life around here is one long experiment.  When it comes to technology and the kids nothing promised is permanent, nothing is etched in stone.  We try something and if it works, great.  If not?  Well, we try something else.

I’m sure the shifting ground rules irritate T-man and Bear, but it’s the best we can do.  And isn’t that the truth for parents everywhere?

I’m on a hiatus from uKnowKids, an app that looked incredibly promising at first.  It’s a monitoring system that allows you to check your kids’ devices from your own phone or laptop, and it was awesome – a dashboard that displayed texts, tweets, Instagram posts, and more, all without physically tracking down and trolling through my kid’s phone.  Unfortunately a glitch in the system prompts Apple to shut down Cloud access…after the fourth password change I had to put it aside.  Never give up, but sometimes take a break.  That’s my motto.

Another experiment we’re running is Kidslox, an app that sets screen limits and lockdown hours for devices we control.  This is working pretty well except I’m not sure it logs every minute your kid is looking at the screen.  It’s a little hard to suss out, but Kidslox might just be tracking internet/app usage so if you’re, say, watching a Netflix show downloaded to your device it may not register as screen time.  I’m still making sense of it but overall I’d say we’re much better off than when I was trying to manage time limits on my own.

Which brings us to our latest shift to Sunday Sabbath.  It seems even our best efforts can’t get the kids enough non-screen time altogether, so BrightSide came up with the radical idea of no screens on Sundays.  I’ll repeat that.  An entire day without technology.  None.  At all.  Every single week.

I’ll admit it – my own heart did a little stutter step at this suggestion which, if anything, means I need it just as much as my kids.  Less TV, more quiet.  Less online blogging, more reading or writing.  Less mindless time wasting activity, more intentional living.

This weekend is our first foray into screen free Sundays.  Wish us luck.