The Easiest and Best Way to Detox Grandchildren From Electronics

starter_screenshotThis Grandma believes that electronics are grandparents’ friend.  When we are tired, or want some quiet time, or especially when we take the grandchildren to a restaurant, having the Ipad or Iphone handy is wonderful.  We can enjoy and the grandchildren really enjoy.  This Grandma has written blogs about electronics before.  The reality is that even the youngest grandchildren love electronics and the American Pediatric Association has weighed in on that reality.  See post: “American Academy of Pediatrics Comes Into the Twenty First Century Regarding Electronics and Children Just in Time to Stop Parental Guilt Over Parents’ Reality.”

It is the parents’ responsibility to monitor electronics and it is wise to get their rules as to how much time to allow the grandchildren to use electronics.  See post: “Parents Should Embrace Electronics for their Children — with Rules.” 

Protecting grandchildren from the ills of electronics and monitoring their use is also a parental problem.  See post: “Best Ways of Taking Back Control from Children With Smartphones and Computers in This Electronic Age is Something We Should Share With the Parents of Our Grandchildren.”


The hardest part for grandparents, and parents, is then removing the electronics from the grandchildren.  New research shows that giving a child a “two-minute warning” before turning off a video game or TV show does not make it easier for a grandchild to turn away from a screen or give up the electronics.  See the May 26, 2016 New York Times article by K.J. Dell’Antonia, “‘Two-Minute Warnings’ Make Turning Off the TV Harder.”

The take-away from the article for us grandparents is what does work according to the article, for us to be “easing transitions by blaming the technology, declaring the battery dead, the Wi-Fi broken, or pretending that a program a child watched on vacation was not available at home.”  What always works for this Grandma with the six year old is that my Ipad is almost out of “juice” and must be plugged in so cannot be used.

There are so many articles on line about how to detox children from electronics, and lists of how to do that.   See, for example, “Five Ways To Break Your Kids’ Screen Addiction.  However, after she just put our two oldest grandchildren on the buses for sleep away camp, our eldest daughter said that even better than having three weeks or so of no responsibility for children was the fact that they would detox from electronics.  Electronics are forbidden at camp.  She said she read an article that it takes three weeks to detox children from electronics, that it breaks their addiction.  Even day camp keeps the grandchildren away from electronics during most of the day.  Camp is perfect in every way for grandchildren, and now we know the that summer camp is the easiest and best way to detox the grandchildren from electronics.

A long (we never say old) dear friend, whose grandchildren also just left for camp, said she expects that it will be three minutes after they get home from camp before they ask for their electronics. It will be interesting to see how long their detox lasts!

Now, maybe it is also a time to encourage the parents of our grandchildren to also detox from electronics as well while the grandchildren are away at camp.  There is even an app we can recommend to help them.  Or as many of the articles on the internet recommend for a digital detox, encourage them to take a vacation without their electronics.  This can also be a win-win.  See post: “Grandma’s View on Promoting Intimacy and Love.”

This Grandma is going on a long vacation.  Maybe I will follow my own advice and consider my own detox from electronics!  However, I agree with my long, dear friend that electronics will probably be the first thing I pick up when I arrive home too.









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