The Daily Mail this week carriers a story about Miranda and Richard Jones, a couple who have banned gadgets from their home. DM reports that their social experiment began six years ago when they noticed one of their children was 'less grumpy' when he wasn't allowed to play computer games.
"We would have dinner and I felt like it was something they had to do between playing their games," said Miranda.
And so, over a six-year period, the couple began slowly weaning their children off their gadgets. The games and computer were taken away, the children were not allowed have cell phones and television time was limited. When it came time for the family to move, they never had cable installed so even the TV became redundant. Though her children watch DVDs on the weekends, Mr and Mrs Jones say the family is much happier now.
"I wanted the children to have a proper childhood," Miranda said. "They have accepted that spending time on computers and mobile phones is something other kids do and they don’t. Instead they go out more and see friends and have face to face conversations with them."
Their 18-year-old says that over all, the ban has been good for him. ‘I think it’s worked very well for my friendships, I actually get to see my friends rather than just talking to them on the internet."
However, not everyone has been as accepting as the kids. Their school has complained to the parents, claiming it is not fair to deny the children access to computers and television, but Mrs Jones says the fears that other kids would alienate her children have been unfounded. She also says the fact that they do not have a computer has not stopped her oldest son, Joshua, from being offered a place in Cambridge University.
Josh says the lack of computer hasn't interfered with school at all. 'It’s not interfered with my school life either because, since I did my GCSEs, I haven’t actually been assigned any online work.' Josh goes on to say he's always found alternatives to using a computer for homework, 'I have always found alternatives to doing research online and my parents have been really good with getting us books instead.'
Do you agree with the Jones' ban on gadgets for their kids? Today's Question of the Day is:
Have you/would you ever ban gadgets from your home?