A Letter to My Sons – (the real reason I say no to electronics)

Boys back

Dear Boys,

Do you remember the day we went to the drugstore and the lady said, “Wow, you are the first kids I’ve seen all day with nothing in your hands.”  Remember how she marveled at how you didn’t need an electronic device to carry through the store?   I know how her words made you feel.  I know how it reminded you that you are different because your mom limits your electronic usage.  I know it was yet another reminder.

The same reminder you receive when we are out to eat and you notice all the kids playing their phones and iPads instead of talking to their parents.  I know it was a reminder of all the sporting events where you feel you are the only kids whose parents are making them cheer on their siblings rather than burying themselves in a phone.  I know it was another reminder to you that you feel different in this electronic age we live in.

Well, boys, it’s not you.  It’s me.  Me being selfish maybe.  You see I can’t bear to miss a moment with you.  Let me explain.

I want to talk to you when we are out to eat.  I want to listen to your questions.  I want to have training opportunities.  I want to allow space for conversation that can take us deeper.  And if you are always distracted with electronics, well… I might miss those moments.

I could give you all the statistics about how damaging it is to your development, your attention span, your ability to learn.  While all of those are valid reasons to keep electronics away, that is not my primary reason why I say no to you so much.  It’s more than that.  Much more.  I need you to understand this.

When we are together, I want all of you.  The fullness of you.  I want to experience you. Truly experience you.  And I can’t do that with you when there is an electronic device between us. You see it acts as a barrier.  I want to see what brings life to those eyes.  I want to watch the wonder and magic dance across your face as you discover the wonders of this world.  I want to watch you as you figure things out.  I want to watch you process life, develop your thoughts. I want to know you.  I want to know your passions.  I want to watch you as you discover your God-given talents and gifts.  And when you hide behind a screen, I miss out on all of that. And my time with you….well it will be over in the blink of an eye.

I want to guide you into an understanding of life and who you are.  Boys, kids today are starved for attention, true connection and relationship.  I don’t want you to feel starved. That is why I say no.  I know that feeding the desire to play in your device is like giving you candy.  It satisfies for a moment but provides no long term nutrition.  It does more harm than good.

I don’t want to look back when I’m out of the trenches of child training and regret a second I had with you.  I don’t want to merely survive.  I want to thrive in this life with you.  We are in it together.  We are a family.

Yes, when we are waiting at a doctor’s office for an hour, it would be easier to quiet you with my phone.  But if I did that, I fear I would send you a message that says I’d rather hush you than hear those precious words falling from your lips.

I can’t bear the thought of allowing you to miss out on the wonders and mysteries of this world. When you are transfixed on a screen, the beauty of this world will be lost to you.  In every moment beauty is waiting to be discovered.  I don’t want you to miss it.

I want you to be comfortable with yourself.  I want you not to feel a constant need to be entertained and distracted.  If you stay behind a screen, you never have to experience just being you, alone with your thoughts.  I want you to learn to think, to ponder life, to make discoveries, to create.  You have been gifted by God in unique ways.  I want those to bloom.  They can’t bloom in the glow of a screen.  They need life, real life, to bring them to light.

I want you to be confident in who you are.  I want you to be able to look people in the eyes and speak life into them.  If I allow you to live behind a screen, you get little practice relating eye to eye.  To truly know someone you have to look into their eyes.  It’s a window into their heart.  You see what can’t be seen in cyberspace.

When I tell you no to devices, I’m giving you a gift.  And I’m giving me a gift.  It’s a gift of relationship.  True human connection.  It’s precious and a treasure.  And you mean so much to me that I don’t want to miss a second of it.

I love how God created your mind.  I love to hear the way you think and process life.  I love to see what makes you laugh.  I love to watch those eyes widen when a new discovery is made. And when your head is behind a screen, I miss all of that.  And so do you.

In this life we have few cheerleaders.  In this family we will cheer each other on.  I know it is boring to sit at swim lessons and watch your brother learn to swim.  I know it is boring to sit through a 2 hour baseball practice.  And in all honesty, it would be easy for me to give you the iPad and keep you quiet and occupied.  But we all lose out when we do that.  You will miss out on watching your brother’s new accomplishments.  You will deprive him of the joy of his moment to shine for you.  You will miss out on what it means to encourage each other.

I want you to grow up knowing the world doesn’t revolve around you.  (One day your wife will thank me)  I want you to learn to give selflessly of yourself….to give away your time, your talents, your treasures.  If I distract you with electronics when you should be cheering for your brother, well, I’m simply telling you that your happiness is more important than giving your time to someone other than yourself.

This world needs more selflessness.  This world needs more connection.  This world needs more love.  We can’t learn these behind a screen.

I want to raise sons that know how to look deeply into the eyes of the ones they love.  I want my future daughters in law to know what it’s like to have a husband that looks deeply into her eyes because he knows the value of human relationships and the treasure of love.  And that is best communicated eye to eye.

I want to watch your face illuminated by the majesty of life – not the glow of a screen.  I want all of you.  Because I only have you for a short while.  When you pack up and leave for college, I want to look back with no regrets over the time I spent with you.  I want to look back and remember how your eyes sparkled when we talked.  I want to look back and remember how I actually knew those little quirky details of your life because we had time enough to be bored together.

It’s ok to be bored.  We can be bored together. And we can discover new things together.

I love you.  I love you too much to quiet you with an iPhone or an iPad or a DS.  And I can’t even apologize, because I’m really not sorry.  I’m doing this so that I won’t be sorry one day.

With all my love,


131 replies
  1. Kimberley
    Kimberley says:

    Yes, yes, and yes! Sadly, though, I’ve noticed I really have to watch MYSELF. It’s so easy to just “get something done” on my phone all the time when I”m with them!

  2. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    It’s nice to see I’m not the only parent who feels this way. Thank you for this encouragement! 🙂

  3. Adina Bailey
    Adina Bailey says:

    Thanks, Renee. We’re taking a break from electronics and it has been refreshing. I’m setting aside specific times to work and trying not to let email, blog reading, etc. cut into my day. I need to do what I’m asking of my children. I’ll update you in a few weeks after I have more time under my belt.

  4. Renee
    Renee says:

    Adina, I can’t wait to hear how it goes. We’ve taken 2 electronic fasts in the last year and have loved them. We would love to try to do it once a quarter. Enjoy the peace!!

  5. Linda
    Linda says:

    Thanks, Renee. It takes a lot of effort to limit screen time. When my kids got their first cell phones, the phones were turned in to me every night so they wouldn’t be up talking instead of sleeping. Their friends were shocked when the same was required of them if they slept at our house overnight. I told them to turn off the phone if they were concerned about privacy. It was obvious these kids were not used to parental controls and their phones could do much more than the ones I let my kids use! Are there any other flip phone families out there? My kids can have a data plan when they pay the bill. They have no clue about the financial and social developmental costs involved. They need to develop SELF Control first.

  6. Renee
    Renee says:

    Linda-great point about developing self-control first. It’s hard to be the one putting limits on, but you are right, they don’t have a concept of what all is involved. The most difficult aspect is when their friends have what appears to be greater freedoms. With access to cell phones with data plans, there is even more at risk. It goes into another realm completely and could be very dangerous. Yes, where did all the flip phones go 🙂 I hope they are still around when my boys get to the age of having a phone!

  7. Andy K
    Andy K says:

    Thank you. This is the year of the pushback against mobile devices. We need more and more people like you explaining to the world why they must not let personal electronics take over. Our families are too important. Our lives are too precious. Keep up the good work.

  8. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    I enjoyed the article and the perspective. Tell me, do you allow your boys to watch TV? If so, how often and when? Thanks.

  9. Renee
    Renee says:

    Natalie-Thanks for the comment. We do allow them to watch tv, but we don’t allow them access to just channel surfing. We have family friendly DVD’s and we have netflix. So they are given options based on what we’ve approved. During the school year, we don’t watch tv during the week except on rare occasions. We will watch it on the weekends. They are all given 30 min a day Friday, Sat, and Sun to choose whatever they want, whether it’s playing the Wii or watching a movie. Then there are times on the weekend that we might all decide to watch a movie together or my husband will play the Wii with them (I’m game challenged). Since we have all boys they are big sports fans and we might all watch a football game together. Since they don’t have it during the week, they definitely look forward to that on the weekends, but it is still very limited and controlled. They have freedom within our limited guidelines.

  10. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you, Andy. Yes, our families are worth the fight for sure. More and more families are making the choice to get back to the basics of connecting one on one. Thank you for your encouragement.

  11. Vernyl Schulz
    Vernyl Schulz says:

    This was a well written, much needed letter. I would like to receive a copy that I could reprint. Is that a possibility?

    Thank you.


  12. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    May I just say, VERY SMART MOM!!!!!!!! The past two years, I was a teacher. I had so many students how would not sleep at night, because they were up texting. Of course, they behaved badly in school. Phones today have instant everything at the tip of children’s fingers. They do not have the maturity level to deal with it. I’m sure that later your children will thank you for the limitations. I did, when I became an adult.

  13. Renee
    Renee says:

    Kathleen-thank you for your comment. I have realized how the “instant everything” also causes great impatience in kids (and myself!). It’s hard to teach kids patience when phones give them what they want immediately

  14. Renee
    Renee says:

    Vernyl- you are welcome to print off a copy as long as it has the blog source with it. Thank you for your comment!

  15. Becca :: Making Room in Sicily
    Becca :: Making Room in Sicily says:

    This is so wise! Right now we have LITTLE children (2.75 and 11 months) and we don’t have a TV or iPads. I do have an iPhone, so I have to be careful about using it around them, and my daughter only gets to look at it (look at pictures, I don’t have any games) once a week or so. We try to keep our laptops closed when the kids are awake.

    I am wondering how this can continue, though. They don’t watch any movies or shows right now at all, but obviously that is a fun memory from my childhood — family movie nights! — and eventually we want to share these things as a family. We don’t know when to introduce it.

    It’s so good to hear about a family with slightly older kids and how you are handling it! Thank you so much for inspiring and sharing.

  16. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    I love this…it has opened my eyes. We are guilty of allowing electronics get in the way of being bored together. Thank you for inspiring me to change my family. Bless you!

  17. Renee
    Renee says:

    Becca- You are so wise to wait until they are older to introduce these things. Family movie nights are great fun and there is nothing wrong with them. It’s more of an issue when devices begin to fill the spaces of time in order to make things “easier” or more entertaining. Used together, with limits, is great fun. Good for you for realizing the importance of limiting yourself when you are with your children! That isn’t easy to do these days!!

  18. Amy
    Amy says:

    Renee, how courageous you are! I was one of those moms who also limited (severely) my sons’ electronics time. I have four sons, and three of them are all grown up and moved out of the house. We home educate our kids, and my rule was–YES you can play a computer game (of my choosing) AFTER all schoolwork and all homework is finished, musical instrument is practiced, exercise is obtained, pets are fed, laundry is put away, chores are done, etc. So basically there was usually very little time in the day by the time all these hoops were jumped through, and the guys usually just gave up on the computer games and ran outside to play. I write a blog and I’ve been SO wanting to muster up the courage to write a post like this, but ALL MY FRIENDS have boys (nearly everybody I know, in fact!) who are addicted to electronics and I’m cowardly to confront them, even if just through my blog’s message. SO, . . . I write posts like this instead: http://vomitingchicken.com/a-note-about-raising-boys/ until I gain the courage to go out on the unpopular (but important) limb that you’ve crawled out on here. By the way, my boys stand out among their peers, (trying to avoid sounding conceited here) and I know one reason for that is because I did limit their electronics so severely. So, way to go, and way to go for encouraging other moms like you do!!

  19. Renee
    Renee says:

    Amy, thank you for this encouragement. It is a topic that is very important and seems to be gaining in popularity. Good for you for giving your boys limits like you did! Blessings!

  20. Constancio
    Constancio says:

    Thank you for generously giving us a piece of your heart and mind. I need to discover a non-intrusive way of sharing the piece with Nikki, my granddaughter.

  21. pamela
    pamela says:

    Wow. I LOVE this. My kids just discovered mine craft at another friend’s house and I am struggling with telling them why I don’t like electronic devices. You nailed it. Thank you! This is beautiful.

  22. Thomas Nye
    Thomas Nye says:

    I want to watch your face illuminated by the majesty of life – not the glow of a screen. Wow, this is a sentence that should be shouted from the rooftops! The world is so full of the majesty of God; everywhere we look God’s glory is visible, that is unless we are locked onto an electronic device. You and I know that computers and these electronic devices have a rightful place and can be used to share and view the glory of God… to often they snuff it out. Blessings on you and your sons as you seek to find that place of viewing and sharing and not of snuffing out! Your brother in Christ, Tom

  23. Renee
    Renee says:

    Well said, Tom. You are right, there is a rightful (even positive) place for electronics. However, danger always lies in the extreme. Thank you for commenting. Blessings!!

  24. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you, Pamela. I hope this helps you share your heart with your children and they understand it’s because you love them so much! Blessings!

  25. Renee
    Renee says:

    Constancio- thank you for your comment. I pray you find a way to share it and your heart with your granddaughter. Blessings!

  26. Constancio
    Constancio says:

    I just finished watching the 1961 Bob Hope movie, Bachelor in Paradise {cf., http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054652/}. There is a line in the baseball scene where Bob commented how the American males were listening to the radio broadcast of the very game they were watching. Ergo, they always wanted to be told [presumably, by properly constituted authority] respecting the happenings they are witnesses to. Connectedness to electronic devices appeared to be ingrained and integral to the functional anatomy of the American psyche.

    It’s a sad social commentary to cultural adaptation with more than just a touch of irony when after fifty-two years (roughly equivalent to two generations) Renee Robinson would still be fighting an uphill battle with the same cultural DNA. I can only hope and pray that it does not prove to be a losing battle and/or a lost cause.

  27. Renee
    Renee says:

    Kathy-what a great comic. I just laughed out loud. Thanks for sharing! It is refreshing to have the realness of being somewhat un-wired. Sometimes we don’t realize what we’ve been missing out on until we try something new. When we have taken electronic fasts before we’ve been surprised to discover what we’ve been missing (and we are relatively un-wired as well!) Blessings!

  28. Lindsey
    Lindsey says:

    Oh, this is marvelous. I’m so glad to have found it. Thank you, thank you. My daughter, 11, and my son, 8, are given access to electronics occasionally (my 11 year old has to use a computer for school a lot) but not very much. They don’t have phones and they don’t carry devices with them when we leave the house. Now and then they get fretful that other friends are allowed these things, but mostly I’m struck by how little they really seem to care. I guess it’s just another manifestation of social pressure, yet again.
    Thank you for this.

  29. Renee
    Renee says:

    Lindsey- Thank you for your comment. Yes, a new kind of peer pressure for sure. But it’s worth the fight!! Blessings!

  30. Amy
    Amy says:

    Hello! Thank you for your amazing story and letter to your boys! I have a 10 year old boy (almost 11) and he is a device junkie! This has been inspired by my loving husband. He also loves games, so he didn’t want to deprive him of gaming systems. We have the Xbox, Wii, PlayStation 2&3, he has the iPod, a 3DS and a ton of games. It’s hard as a wife to hear this letter and feel that way too, but to have a hubby who isn’t in agreement with me on this issue! Some of our fights are over this exact issue! Some of the games he plays hurt my heart. Other than praying for my husband, how can I get my husband to be on the same page as me? I would love to hear what you husband take on this is! Thanks in advance!! 🙂

  31. Karla Reel
    Karla Reel says:

    This is the best thing I’ve read since electronics really started taking over. Thank you for saying it in such a beautiful way! I wholeheartedly agree!

  32. Renee
    Renee says:

    Amy, this is a very interesting perspective you bring to the discussion. As you mentioned, obviously prayer is the first step. Beyond that, I wonder how your husband would respond if you printed out the letter and shared it with him explaining that this is what you don’t want to miss and how there is so much in your child’s life to discover and relish. And would he be willing to try an experiment? Say an agreed upon “limits” to electronics or a fast of sorts. I think when he experiences what will happen, he would come around to understanding why it is so important. Maybe even doing just a one weekend fast, where you completely unplug from all devices. It might feel weird at first, but if you fill the time with other activities that truly connect you all, I think everyone would be surprised at how refreshing it is. I will be praying for you. And I’m not just saying that 🙂 This comment has played over in my mind many times this evening as I’ve thought how something like this would make me feel and knowing my husband didn’t see the situation the same way. If I think of other ideas, I will reply again. I would love for you to keep me posted on any progress and am excited to see the Lord move in your life through this!

  33. Diane Hobbs
    Diane Hobbs says:

    Dear Renee
    This is beautiful! Thank you for writing everything I have been feeling far more eloquently than I could have written it! This is a priceless gift to your children. I am so relieved when I hear other parents who hold the same beliefs and have been instilling the same practices that I am. Thank you for this wonderful article!

  34. Sara
    Sara says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My husband and I had a meeting last night with our three sons. We’ve allowed them to play with electronics, and their time spent on them has gotten out of hand. It makes me sad to hear them express interest in games alone — leaving other things behind that they have always loved. I know I simply need to redirect their attention and take away these devices. I’ve designated one day of the week as game day (not the entire day, of course, but an hour or two). I am with you — I want their attention! I want them to give attention to one another, too. I just read your article this morning, but you voiced so many of the concerns and feelings that I have expressed to my husband and have thought in my mind and never mentioned out loud. So, here’s to spending quality time with our sons, finding and developing their divine talents, and making memories together! Thank you again. Your words remind me that although this will not be easy — and, it would be much easier to hand over the Kindle while we’re sitting at the doctor office! — it will be worth it. This is the right thing to do.

  35. Renee
    Renee says:

    Sara- Thank you for your comment. Seems the thing with the devices is that it starts as a slow creep, then before we know it, it’s grown into something we don’t like at all. Good luck on your new limits. I can’t wait to hear about how your journey continues with this. You are right, it will not be easy, but it’s the right thing to do. The thing with kids is that they don’t realize the danger and they don’t realize what they are missing out on, so it’s up to us to help them and guide them. We have always discovered that when we redirect our children, we see them come back to life and they rarely miss the electronics. They realize how the connection with us, the conversations, the games, the hobbies, how all of that is much more meaningful and valuable to them. Thank you for sharing and good luck to you! Blessings!

  36. Jill Hill
    Jill Hill says:

    Hi, sweet friend. Awesome post. I would also add that this goes for parents as well. The Lord convicted me two years ago about phone/web time–especially around my kids! 🙂 it’s been the biggest GIFT–time. Precious time. Face to face. Not my face to the screen constantly.

    Our kids are watching what WE do! Hello! 🙂 🙂



  37. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi Jill! Thank you for your sweet comment 🙂 Yes! You are so right. If we don’t model what we are asking of our kids, then it’s all pointless.

  38. kelly
    kelly says:

    While we share the same philosophy in regard children and electronic devices, be warned that it’s going to be a real blow to their egos when everyone else doesn’t hang on every precious word that falls from their lips. Wow.

  39. Marcela
    Marcela says:

    Dear author,

    I just read your letter to your kids about why you say no to electronics and I would like your permission to translate it into Spanish. Please email me! I can think of so many people who would be blessed by your message.

  40. Olive
    Olive says:

    KELLY- Your words are so true, speaking from experience here. But the effort to limit is still so worth it.

  41. Stephen Schilling
    Stephen Schilling says:

    Lovely…and for those of us without kids (unless you count me ) a great reminder for me in my marriage. Thank you.

  42. Olive
    Olive says:

    Hi Renee, excellent letter a real keeper. I will be sharing with my husband this evening. You have given me fresh perspective and courage as to why we should keep up this fight. And it is a fight…a fight with our culture to lay claim on our children’s minds and souls.

    Not to take up too much space here, but let me give you a tiny glimpse into your future as we are at the end of this road with this philosophy. We do not have teleVISION in our home going on 23 years now. We do have a TV (for the monitor only) used for Netflix, Video, and DVD’s of our choosing. We have a cuss box, and Clear Play that we use for modern movies. I just gave up my flip phone in July 🙁 for an Iphone… the husband and kids made me lol. At about 10 and 15 we gave our kids Ipods for Christmas, we preloaded them with their favorite music (at that time) mostly classical. We gave our daughter a Kindle when she was 17 she never used it that much, since she collects vintage books she prefers to hold the book for whole book experience.

    We have stayed away from electronics as much as possible when the kids were younger, but with high-school they needed Laptops, we always home-schooled and traveled allot. We put the necessary safeguards on their Laptops to protect our kids from the internet, but still not be left out on the value of easy information retrieval for school. Our son is involved in a sport that takes him all over the country competing. He has had the hardest time with his peer group. At about 12 he became aware that all the other boys had something in common that he did not….gaming and certain movies. We had already dealt with the whole “NO TV”?… thing from our own extended family for years) Comments like “Hey guys Sam’s (not his real name) never even seen (whatever) movie” or “Hey Sam, does your Dad let play pong hahaha? We used those times to learn what it meant to stand alone, and he was, not having a brother or another teammate for moral support. It was a tough time as Dad and I wrestled with “are we doing the right thing”? Our encouragement and our sons to continue on this course, came from the fact he was a very gifted sportsman, and because of his character he was respected by most of the parents, kids and his coach, asking him for help. The heckling came from a few boys that were his age or older. As our son got older and he was faced with kids much younger than him that had information about things he knew nothing about. Granted it was garbage, news etc. but that does not make it any easier for a young man’s ego and confidence. Every year my husband had continued to say NO to the Game-boy Nintendo world, pointing out it’s additive nature, grown men we knew whose family suffered because dad was gaming into the night and such. At 17 he was the only one on his team that still had a flip phone, we had seen our son stand alone many times. Walking away from a friends Iphone, saying “I don’t want to see that”. God gave our son the experience of seeing others get in trouble because of their Iphone and the internet. He now had a real respect for the danger of the internet and said to his dad “Dad I’m glad you have me locked down on my computer, I know I am not ready for total freedom” We have tried to teach our children that we must all be accountable to one another, and that is a good thing, not a bad thing. Because we love one another, we want the best for one another, even when it is hard.

    At 17 again he came to us requesting to buy a game station with money he had saved. It was then we decided to grant his request, with the agreement that there would be time limits as to playing time, (when and how long that we would all agree with) and that certain games would not ever be allowed in our home, and would that cause him to be bitter if we allowed gaming with these restriction? Because of his age he was fully aware what we were asking him, and he was able to answer in an honest and mature way, “Yes I accept those terms”. Also he was delighted at our confidence in him, and that we wanted to pay for half.

    We have tried our best praying for wisdom throughout this whole ordeal of our children becoming adults in the home. Many times my husband and I have locked horns over whether they were “ready” for more decision making freedom in a certain area. All children mature differently. Actual age didn’t have a whole lot to do with it in our experience, and gender also played a part in different stages of their development and maturity. We decided early on that society would not determine when and what was allowed for our 13, 16 or 18 year old to view or participate in, that that responsibility was given to us by God.

    Our kids just graduated from College and High School last year they both have Iphones now; our sons stays in Dad’s office every-night when he goes to bed, all the computers in our house have a filter on them to keep everyone safe including my husband and myself. Do I have to sometimes mention to my husband about reading news or texting a client in my presence on date night lol…yes,…. do I have to remind my kids, no texting at the table, and never when driving (they got that one :)), yes I do. We do not want our children to feel like freaks in society, and yes their happiness is important to us, but never at the expense of their soul.

  43. Stephanie King
    Stephanie King says:

    Thanks for the great post. Electronics can certainly slowly invade our homes. I know that personally I have had to disconnect from Facebook on my phone because of my own lack of self control (about which I was able to share with my 10 year old son). We have had our own challenges with media in our household. The access is so easy with everything being wireless and the games that can be downloaded. But I really liked what you said about just being present with each other. It is something that I have to personally remind myself and model for my kids. Thanks for your encouragement and advice. This is a new age and we all have to learn how to best navigate it. What will work for one family won’t work for another.

  44. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you, Stephanie. Very true, this is a new age that we must each learn to navigate and there is no “perfect way” for all families. For some it might be trial and error to figure what works best. Being present is so important, and the time is brief.

  45. Renee
    Renee says:

    Olive-thank you for this insight into what this looks like as they age. It seems that you guys did a great job in training them while showing them it was out of love and for their benefit. How wise of your son to realize he wasn’t ready for total freedom. At the ages my children are now, we’ve not experienced too much of the social pressure. A little, but nothing like what will come down the road. This comment is a good reminder of how to pray into the future. Thank you!

  46. Leila Stolberg
    Leila Stolberg says:

    This is so beautifully written and expressed. I agree with every word. We have a one hour a week, only on the weekends, only after you’ve read for an hour that day, rule in our home. But it sure is a battle. Thanks for writing this essay. It’s nice to know I have company 🙂

  47. Katie
    Katie says:

    I’m so thrilled to read this. I have a 14 month old, and we won’t be introducing TV or electronics to her any time soon… She also only has maybe 3 or 4 toys that require batteries, and she’s only allowed to play with those about an hour or so a week. My family and friends think I’m being a terrible mother for not letting her “experience” these things, but, like you, I think she’s so much better off “experiencing” the real world rather than being face first in a movie or game. There are lots of times where I would love to let her watch a movie so I can get something DONE, but I won’t let it happen.

    From this, amazing things have happened! My husband and I watch TV only about 3-4 times a week, and even then, for less than an hour. We’re not on our phone as much and we all spend quality time together. My daughter is amazing – she’s a huge talker (last count was over 30 words), knows her animal sounds, and will say the ABC’s with me. She will sit and look at books for nearly an hour and can entertain herself for long stretches. When people see her, they are amazed how advanced she is. I know it’s because we’ve turned every moment of her life into a learning opportunity rather than letting her be mesmerized by moving images on a screen.

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  48. Renee
    Renee says:

    Good for you, Katie! It’s hard with a 14 month old to get ANYTHING done, so congrats for fighting that fight and doing what is best for your daughter. My 10 year old was like that as a baby as well. When we went anywhere, all we took were books. People would stop us and say how they couldn’t believe he was so quiet with only a book to look at. We didn’t have iPhones then, so the battle had not begun yet. But they will adapt to what we give them, so why not let it be something that will help them learn and prosper. My 10 year old still entertains himself by reading and loves it! Blessings!

  49. Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife
    Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife says:

    LOVE THIS! We get asked all the time “how” we raise our kids with limited electronics time. I do my best to answer the question without judgement. However the truth is my answer is simple; we are the parent, they are the child. First we as the parent control what we buy our kid and second it is our responsibility to set boundaries. Our kids (12, 9, 6) were given as a gift there first hand held electronic device (a DS3) by their older brother to share for Christmas. Before that we only had one gaming system in our family room.
    The amount of electronic use started as a rule when the kids were younger (time limits then no school day use, weekend only/my older kid had to read 30 minutes before he played) but it has now just become a way of life. They know we live life different than most because that is how we are we raising them to live.

  50. Helen
    Helen says:

    Sounds lovely, but if you had an autistic child you may see things a little differently. Don’t judge others. You don’t know where they’ve walked.

  51. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you, Helen, for your comment. I understand the circumstances for autistic children are very different and this letter was written for my sons, not addressing the entire scope of electronic usage (the children that benefit from it for example) as my children would not understand this. This letter addresses my reasons for limiting for my boys. I am not judging anyone. In general this is a cultural issue. For many families the electronic usage has nothing to do with helping an autistic child, it has to do with habits we’ve slipped into. Blessings!

  52. Joy
    Joy says:

    Dad (your uncle Rick) just sent this to me. I have to say it brought tears to my eyes as I sat and thought about all the time I’ve wasted by allowing my kids to be on their electronics. I hate this age of electronics and wish they were growing up like we did. You just made me realize that I as their mother can make it that way. Yes it may be a little harder for me sometimes but we have to work hard for the things are truly worth something. And time with my children is worth more than anything! Thank you for writing this. I now have a new resolution for this year. Hope you are all doing well.

  53. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi Joy!!!! And reading this just brought tears to my eyes. What a heart you have for your children to read something like this (and feel some regrets) and decide to make a positive change. I must say how much I respect that. Sometimes in our human nature we can become defensive and feel attacked when faced with issues we’ve chosen a different path on. I’m glad that you felt differently. Your children are blessed to have you as their mommy! Much love, Renee.

  54. Janet
    Janet says:

    Thank you so very much. I have felt that I’m a one-woman band pushing against electronics. Now I have words to know why that is so important. Thank you –= and maybe if everyone who reads this passes it along to 10 of their friends, we’ll have a whole momentum of moms. This is important.

  55. Renee
    Renee says:

    Janet, I would love this to be shared with moms, friends, grandparents, etc. I believe it has put into words what many of us feel in our hearts but have been unable to express. It’s so important and our time of influence is so incredibly short!! Thank you for your comment!

  56. Melisa Su'esu'e
    Melisa Su'esu'e says:

    I love this article. I have 3 sons ages 8, 9 and 11. They would play their electronic games/phone all day if they had the choice. I am definitely going to set a limit to the amount of time that they use them. I already tell them that they only have a certain amount of time on them, and that I’d rather see them go outside and play. They do complain, but always have fun outside. Sometimes they say that they’re bored because they don’t have an electronic device. I try to teach them that there are so many other things to do, learn and see without one. I’m grateful for your example and I will definitely make it a point to put my own phone down to see and hear them. Thank you!


  57. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thanks for the comment, Melisa. I (like our kids) find myself “bored” when I realize I’ve slipped into a pattern of being too plugged in. However, when I’ve “detoxed” a bit, I find myself extremely refreshed. I believe the same is true for our kids, they just don’t have the ability to understand and process that. You make a good point about us, as the parents, putting down our own phones. Blessings!

  58. Colbi
    Colbi says:

    Thank you for this blog! It has really motivated me to try harder. I have been giving my kids 30 min of computer time a day but it is really easy to let that go on longer when I am in the middle of something. I want them to have an imagination instead of a game or movie always telling them how to pretend. I have also been trying to limit myself by only checking e-mails on the computer, not the phone. Also I am deleting apps and games to make sure we are not wasting that precious time together. I really want to try an “electronic fast” but it will take some time to get my husband used to the idea. Wish me luck. Thanks again!

  59. Renee
    Renee says:

    Good luck, Colbi! Start small, making a few gradual changes. Maybe limiting computer time to 3 days a week, 30 minutes each day. Then try a weekend fast. Once everyone sees positive results, it will be easier to try a longer fast. We have done a month long fast twice and it was awesome. Once the kids knew there was no electronic options, they came alive and really began creating, imagining, and interacting. Our goal is to incorporate fasts more regularly. Blessings!

  60. janis
    janis says:

    WOW! This is an amazing article. Even adults need to learn to step away from their devices! There is nothing more important than face to face talking and communication. Love this!

  61. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    Well-said! I couldn’t agree more! We do not tote our Ipad around for the kids nor any other devices. We even taking trips to FL (gasp) in the VAN with NO ELECTRONICS! We sing songs, play I-spy and other gams. Some people would think it’s crazy. Our kids think it’s normal ~ they are 2.5, 4, and 5.5. I was fine doing this as I grew up; they will be great, too. Thank you for sharing this!

  62. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thanks, Laurie for your comment. It’s great to get kids used to limited electronics early on. Much easier than making adjustments down the road, which is still possible and beneficial. I bet your kids love the car rides because of the time you create together.

  63. Allison Main
    Allison Main says:

    Wow! Thank you. We are week two of being device free, thanks to you. My 12 year old, disgruntled at first, commented that he feels better not having to be plugged in all the time. Homework has been easier, weekends are more relaxing (but more work, having to think of things to do together and making Dad get off the computer too). I have shared with all my friends, but I sense that not everybody feels like they can do it, that unplugging their kids is some sort of punishment or that they feel “left out” of the conversation. How wrong that is! What kid needs to be on a group text at 10 p.m. at night??? I know first hand now how great it is to have a relationship with my child again!

  64. Renee
    Renee says:

    Allison! How incredible! I’m so excited to hear this feedback! Definitely it takes a bit more creativity to be unplugged, but it is soooo worth it! Proud of you guys! Keep it up 🙂

  65. Sonja Bailey
    Sonja Bailey says:

    Wow what a piece of honesty it is not easy to be a mom that loves her children enough to admit she is being selfish and wants their time… Our children are gifts entrusted to us to love and guide…I think this is powerful~ I am a grandma and I see both sides, busy little minds that need to be busy and the need to teach then consideration of others, respect, companionship and basic manners that one day will show in the character… Thank you for your truth and beliefs and strength to follow your heart… May God Bless you abundantly … and your children as well

  66. LAX
    LAX says:


    Note: I am not a parent (and I probably will never be – don’t feel the urge to have children and I am 27 ATM) – just so that no one thinks that (or uses it as an argument against me)

    I see it exactly the other way round:

    If you do not give your children access to technology (and smartphones/tablets do count here, sames as tv, computers, stereos, mp3-players etc.) restricts them more then it does help them, even more if you do not teach them to control their time spent in front of the various devices (I should know, my parents gave me technology and then artificially imposed their ideas of how much time I was allowed to use them over my own judgement (thus I never developped any and I still often times can’t control myself, as I have not learned how!), thus not teaching my any time management skills…), they will start acting out/losing all control when they are able to get those devices later on (note: It’s not guaranteed this will happen, but it does very often…you need to learn to control yourself (being punished for bad grades, missing sports-team meetings etc. helps, as long as you do not limit the time otherwise), without having others dictated how you do it…

    So I suggest, give them the devices – and do not impose any limits on their use, just show them that they don’t constantly need them (hell, I have had a smartphone for years now and I would NEVER use it much (checking my texts about once every 2 hours or so and reacting to calls only…unless of course someone want to see the phone or something), when eating out or at the movies, theater etc. – that’s good behaviour and that can be tought as well…forcing abstinence was never a good idea (look at alcohol – you americans have more problems with it than europeans do, while you happen to have stricter laws concerning the sale and drinking of it and you even tried prohibition for a time (which worked sooooo great *sarcasm*)…

    greetings LAX

  67. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Renee – These are the words that I have been looking for for 3.5 years now. I am sitting in Starbucks with tears just rolling down my face. I feel like I could have written this, yet I couldn’t have – because I didn’t know the words until I read yours. I can’t say thank you enough. This is the sweetest, most poignant thing I think I’ve ever read. I have 3.5 year old identical twin boys and this is EXACTLY how I feel concerning our family time and technology. My kids have been bored to tears in the Dr.’s office, but I knew (and still know) the pay-off later is worth it. Thank you for writing this. Absolutely epic.

  68. Renee
    Renee says:

    Sarah, this comment has blessed me so much. I’m so glad you found this letter to give voice to your feelings and allowed it to touch you so deeply. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here with me.

  69. Beth
    Beth says:

    I can certainly understand your heart behind this post, but I don’t think being involved with and using technology has to mean we will miss out on things with our kids. I think the key is a good balance and not living in fear of technology but also not letting it consume or control our relationships. There is no reason that we cannot experience and bond with our children over many things-including screens. My husband and older son have had so much fun playing an iPhone game together that involves building and maintaining a village. My animal loving daughter sits with me and plays countless videos of bird calls etc for me that she finds fascinating-I am not missing out on her discoveries b/c I am right there with her.
    I wonder why using a device in a dr waiting room or waiting on food in a restaurant means missing out on conversation with your kids? Do they color with the resturaunt provided crayons while they wait? Or read a book? Are these activities any better or worse than a screen?
    Lastly-my husband grew up in a dysfunctional, violent home. He often played video games to drown out the strife, and yet he still manages to look deeply into my eyes and treasure our love and relationship and does it quite well. I believe we have to come to terms with the reality of the world we live in-which is, whether we like it or not, a world of technology. I think we would be doing them a disservice to just say no to technology and not teach them how to navigate it in a healthy way.

  70. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi Beth, thank you for your comment. We do not fear technology and our kids have plenty of access. We own lots of devices and technology and train them how to use them appropriately. In your case, it sounds like you have some lovely bonding moments with devices. Many families do. However, many families do not as it becomes a tool to occupy time. As with everything, situations are different for each family. I’m very sorry for your husbands childhood. In his case, video games gave him comfort, which is probably part of how he can use them to connect lovingly with his own children. Again, each family has their own circumstances. In my childhood, I used books as escape from pain. I bond with my boys by reading 🙂 We all comfort out of our own pain. I agree, we would do a disservice by not allowing technology at all. It has good purposes as well. I’m addressing something different here. Blessings!

  71. Carol
    Carol says:

    Hi Renee, This really touched my heart and I have a different perspective of how this blog affects how the use of our time with our children is the most precious of all! On 1-7-10 my only son (I also have 2 daughters and 9 grandchildren) went to heaven and took the biggest piece of my heart with him! I love every memory good or bad that I have of our time in his amazing 23 years of life! Put down your phones, tablets, laptops and electronic games! My son Nic played sports especially loved baseball and basketball! I remember so many games and how happy we were when he hit a grand slam homerun! The talks on the ride home when Nic’s team won were awesome but so were the talks when his team lost! Our son learned values of how to be a good winner and loser because he didn’t have any technology to distract him!
    It just luckily wasn’t invented yet!
    The thing that I am trying to pass on to all parents…we never know when our last day with our family members and friends will be! Life is so short! Cherish the time that you have and have no regrets because what you do today, make it count because you are exchanging a day of your life for it! What if your child passed away in his sleep like mine did? Hope you don’t miss out on those giggles and belly laughs that make your face hurt! Don’t miss out on the moments when your child’s girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with them or when somebody says something cruel to them! I know that most parents are still there when times are tough for their kids…but don’t miss out on all those funny, weird, amazing conversations at the dinner table! You can’t get those times back! I am blessed to have had all the little moments of Nic’s life and the huge accomplishments too! No regrets and thank you for sharing your amazing posts! My son had over 700 people at his funeral and never used Facebook! He could have used Facebook because it was available back in 2010. He loved everyone and was very generous and kind!

  72. Renee
    Renee says:

    Carol, I’m deeply sorry for your loss. I can’t possibly imagine your pain. But your words are beautifully inspiring and speak to the heart of much that I write about. Thank you for sharing your pain so that we can all learn to enjoy each moment we are given. Thank you. Blessings to your family.

  73. Brian
    Brian says:

    Wow…this was so well written and I can’t Thank You enough for the wisdom you put in this post. I have 2 older brothers (52, 50 and I… 49). We were brought up upper middle class Christian family that pretty much had anything we asked for. I do remember we were not allowed to watch TV till homework & chores completed, no video games at all including arcade games when out and the 1 computer in the house was limited by usage known as “DAD”. I get it now…what they were doing. I have the best memories playing with friends and cousins in our cul-de-sac, having mom & dad read and play board games with us, dinner time with no TV on to find out what happened in everybody’s day, vacations or just local road trips playing ” the license plate game” or just at the park watching brother practice or play baseball or tennis. These are my fondest memories of my childhood. Just recently my brothers flew in from out of state for my nephews wedding and all met at parents home for a visit. We all were guilty of the IPAD, computer and smart phone usage…but when dinnertime, TV off, phones away and the conversation begins. Its like we were her little boys again. Everything that was instilled from childhood came back to each of us in a beautiful time period of life. After dinner and clean up, it was game time. Not on electronic devices but the actual board game and playing cards. What a concept huh? I started to tear up…cause this is all they wanted in life. To see their boys happy, healthy and following the right path. I was overjoyed and overcome with PRIDE for my brothers and I. The look in my parents eyes was like we were kids again and Dad just made his “infamous” sounding whistle which meant you had 5 minutes to get to that dinner table or else…Never found out “ever” what else meant. Just knew better. I wish you the best of luck with your boys and I applaud you for your open minding views. This letter needs to be seen by all. When I first opened the post, was hoping it was a clip to watch…but wasn’t. When I saw the length of it..was like You got to be kidding. But I Thank God that he urged me to read and continue to read. It was so moving…I read several…and I do meann several comments. You are reaching a vast audience through your words and the Lord is utilizing you in a way that is beyond any comprehesion. I don’t know you from Adam…but your soul is everlasting. Thank you Renee and Blessings on the Highest.

  74. Ronda Penley
    Ronda Penley says:

    Wow, I wish I had seen this before I adopted my grandson. Electronics were made his life through neglect and became his escape from the harsh realities of his life. I wish I had been stronger, having your wisdom and foresight years ago.
    It is going to be difficult, but after reading this I need to turn this around. At least I don’t have the phone and iPad situation to deal with much, it’s the PC online game time and I don’t want him becoming anti-social.
    Your letter and prayer will be my tools. Thank you for sharing your very wise and selfish thoughts! Your children are truly blessed!


  75. Jerry Randal
    Jerry Randal says:

    I applaud your efforts, however, there is another side. How do you deal with the trust issue? Any parent I’ve seen take this approach will face their teen who doesn’t think you trust them enough to have what their friends have. I think that limits on the devices are fine and encouraged, but an all out ban for your kids will only create resentment and hostility. They may tell you they are fine with it, but they are aren’t being honest. At some point, they want what everyone else has, or face the ridicule of being the ones left out. Delete my comment if you like, but I see this all the time.

  76. Renee
    Renee says:

    Jerry, thank you for your comment. I do not see a trust issue here. As stated in my introduction, my children do have access to technology and we do NOT take a “ban all” approach at all. Family rules are family rules. Just because a kid doesn’t like the rule, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t instill them. There are many rules my kids don’t love, but they are for their benefit and well-being. I also know my kids well enough to know they will not tell me they are fine with something they are not fine with 🙂 Example, the letter. This letter addresses their answers to the why. They are finally getting it. My prayer is that as they mature they will understand even more. When love abounds, and rules are placed within the safety of parental engagement, I don’t fear rebellion. Rebellion comes from many different sources. The root of rebellion would not be limited electronic usage. It would be something deeper.

  77. Charlie Ferro
    Charlie Ferro says:

    Renee, this is one of the best things I have ever read! It is truly wonderful. Our son is only a year old but this really resonates true for us…

  78. Fred
    Fred says:

    Thanks for the wonderful massage put in such nice words.(A letter to my Sons) You put in words what many of us parents feel inside.I want to share this with parents.Thank you.

  79. John
    John says:

    Renee – You are making a huge mistake here and I completely disagree with everything you said in this article. You claim technology is an inhibitor from being selfness and being kind. Just yesterday I made a 20 dollar donation with a tap on my phone to fund a cataract surgery for an underpriveledged child in India (any kind soul can too using this link: http://www.giftofvision.org/). About a month ago I used text messaging to convince my best friend not to commit suicide, usind my words and images to console him. Homeless shelters and the homeless now communicate over facebook pages. If that doesnt define service, selfnessness, and kindness to you, i’m not what does. You claim kids are hiding from reality through the comfort of their tablets and phones. Well Madam, quite frankly technology IS becoming our reality. Job Resumes are submitted over the internet. Interviews are being conducted through skype. The newspaper is an obselete antique that is far inferior to the new definition journalism has taken. We no longer get our news from reading a paper, rather, we watch a video of the scene shot by a witness’s cell phone camera, or read an account on a blog. And don’t even tell me technology takes away connections. LinkedIn and facebook are connections redefined, allowing us to connect with people we know who we can’t meet in person. Jobs are becoming increasing reliant on technology, with more and more jobs requiring advanced computer knowledge. You arent giving yout kids a gift by taking their technology away. You are masking them from the reality our world has become. Its because of you conservative parents our kids are entering the corporate world naive and unprepared. This is why China and India are kicking our butts in the job market . If you havent realized or are reluctant to admit that technology is our inevitable future and destiny, dont let your children suffer from it.
    – John R.

  80. John
    John says:

    and dont get me wrong. Playing videogames om a phone develops intelligence and critical thinking skills Renee.

  81. Juanita bowling
    Juanita bowling says:

    Great post. Think more parents should read this because there is less family time in this world where parents don’t spend time with their kids &!place them in front of the tv or video games! Some parents too are preoccupied with their own phones! Good job! Yes life is too short our kids are with us for a short time indeed!

  82. DOC
    DOC says:

    This is a beautiful article. It saddens me that so many are missing the wonderful parts of relationships that are right in front of them.

    As a teacher, I ask parents to also give their children freedom from the leash of a phone. Some insist that their children must text them during the school day or you text them to “check on them.” They can survive the day without having contact with you.

    When told that they can survive through the class period without having their phone on, the students uniformly reply “but what if there is an emergency?” First, if there is an emergency, an adolescent likely is not the first resource one would choose. This speaks to their over-inflated sense of self-importance and puts more stress on them at the same time. And if there is a real need to contact your children, please go through the school and teach your children this is how you will reach them. I had a student who was notified by a Facebook post at lunch that a close relative had died; yet, he had to remain at school where he was now totally distracted.

    I also know that many parents insist on their children “checking in” far too often. This may be when they are at a friend’s house for a few hours. I know of one honors student who had to call EVERY time he drove anywhere to report his safe arrival. Another who had to check in every 4 hours during a weekend retreat with a school club. Others who communicate daily with their children who are away at college. Please help your children achieve a healthy independence so they can learn to function in life on their own.

    Tech can be a wonderful tool, but it also can inhibit the development of communication skills, resourcefulness, independence, self-reflection, and contentment.

  83. Calette Smith
    Calette Smith says:

    My son’s and daughter’s in law try, but often give in to quiet the children. I especially don’t care for the graphic games!!!! I feel your article is a must read for all parents and grandparents as well. I’d much prefer they read this than complain grandma needs to mind her own business!

  84. Shazia
    Shazia says:

    Totally loved this blog, I read it to my kids, next day after hiking we went to a restaurant while we were sitting my daughter pointed out to me three different families with kids, each one of those were totally consumed by iPads and iPhones, and the whole time had no interaction with there parents, or there siblings, my daughter simply said how sad. I am a mommy to six wonderful kiddos, we are considered old fashion because our kids spend most of there days climbing trees, using there imagination rather than play on iPads or my iPhone separately in there room. It’s great to know I am not alone there are others who share the same values. Thanks shazia

  85. Emgem
    Emgem says:

    I have two girls that are being raised with limited electronics and go days without even thinking to ask for one. They have imagination and laughter. They look into the eyes of others and expierence what life has for them. It is comforting to know that there are boys out there being raised the same way. Thank you to the mothers of boys, who are being so respectful to raise a solid husband for my girls. I will do my best to raise a great wife for them, and hope their stars meet one day.
    Now it is time for me to put down my electronic!

  86. Tyson
    Tyson says:

    Please don’t forget the parents. They are just as guilty being glued to their electronic device as the children…..

  87. Simone
    Simone says:


    Great reminder on how raising our children and wanting to spend every second of the day with them is more than precious. Because yes, one day they are going to go to college, get married, have their own children and we want to make them give value to every special moment on their life’s…outside of the technology world. Life is so precious and we, as parents need to teach our kids what is more important. I always tell them that we are a family and we want to be with them as much as we can. Loved your letter. Very well written and a great help for many of us. Thank you so much for sharing this with many parents out there.

  88. Yesenia CV
    Yesenia CV says:

    Thank you for sharing my thoughts and feelings so eloquently! Glad to see I’m not alone in this battle.

  89. Donna
    Donna says:

    Awesome post! I’ve always agreed with everything you’ve said. You are giving your children (and yourself) – and the world ultimately – a great gift of some wonderful people. Grounded, secure, able to really communicate. I hope this catches on! =))

  90. Gail Brooks
    Gail Brooks says:

    Thank you Renee, for your eloquent, spot on message. As loving Grandparents of six beautiful grandchildren, my husband and I have made it our house rule, that when we are together, we want, no, we need face to face, eye to eye, communication. When they are invited for sleepovers in our apartment, which faces the East River, we want them to be awedby the lights across the river, highlighting the inimitable iconic skyline. We want them to be excited seeing a proud red tugboat navigating a massive freighter elegantly and safely in between other river craft. (Perhaps you might recall a childhood classic of yore about Little TOOT, doing just that!) We want them to be able to recognize that having a cell phone as a “third hand” does not replace etiquette of acknowledging others who might be sharing surrounding space such as a small elevator.

    Too often I have seen young adults in groups, supposedly spending real time together, but who are completely engaged in cell phone communication. You could do that from anywhere. BEING with someone can be a complete sensory revelation! Can you smell through the selfie, that memorable fragrance your girlfriend has put on?
    Enjoy living in the moment! Really smell the flowers. Discover flora and fauna with your family, really feeling the soft grass squishing underfoot! See the exploding fireworks. Be awed by the fleeting sensory delights that make moments really last!

  91. Bobbi
    Bobbi says:

    Great article! What would you say to a husband and father who won’t get out from in front of his computer. He’s has already missed so much of our childrens lives, has major health problems at 38, and is damaging his marriage. We’ve been together for 15 years and I’ve just gotten used to it, but he doesn’t realize his relationship with his kids is hurting very badly. He thinks he has “an amazing” (his words) relationship with them because jokes around all the time. But there’s no substance, I’m the one they come to in every situation. Our son is 14 and we have 2 daughters, 8 and 12.

  92. Kathryn George
    Kathryn George says:

    Thank you so much for your insightful words…is it ok with you if I change a few words and share this with my son? You did such a beautiful job speaking the heart of a mother.


  93. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    This such a beautifully written post and I really agree with what you say about it being important to be able to turn the electronic devices off and devote full attention to family and friends. It’s kind of ironic how electronic devices in some ways bring people who are far apart together via various social networks at the same time as stopping people who are in the same room as each other being more sociable.

  94. Alex
    Alex says:

    I glad to hear someone still have wisdom and parenting skill. To be honest it makes me feel hope. Parent’s dont have a clues the repercussions they have on the whole world when they raise a boy into a man or a girl into a woman and teach her just how powerful she already is with out being equal to a man “on paper” or officially for all to know. Id say she is more powerful but not equally accepted which she could use as an advantage if she knew how. The art of womanhood is lost and must be resurrected for all humanities sake. Nonetheless I’m glad to know that there is someone anyone with such values that give human life meaning. As a rule we only miss what we’ve lost . Anyhow thank you for this article. I hope to be an example like this one day to my children to be.

  95. Eve
    Eve says:

    This is the most poignant, beautiful writing. I agree with every word. And I plan to do the same thing with our child when he/she is born. I want them to have a true childhood and experience the beauty of the world and of themselves!

  96. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you, Eve, for your sweet words. You will be a blessing to your children to help them have a childhood full of the real beauty of this world.

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  1. […] is a repost of the most popular post of 2014. I posted in January and again in […]

  2. […] The following is a terrific guest post from Renee Robinson. She is a mother who puts boundaries on some of the electronics her sons request. Her kids still enjoy the digital world, but it’s a servant, not a master. While I write blogs for educators and coaches, I recognize many of you are parents, too. Enjoy the letter she wrote to her boys: “Why I Say No to Electronics.” […]

  3. […] The following is a terrific guest post from Renee Robinson. She is a mother who puts boundaries on some of the electronics her sons request. Her kids still enjoy the digital world, but it’s a servant, not a master. While I write blogs for educators and coaches, I recognize many of you are parents, too. Enjoy the letter she wrote to her boys: “Why I Say No to Electronics.” […]

  4. […] One link led to another and quite by chance I discovered a post that stopped me in my tracks. A Letter to my sons (the real reason I say no to electronics) by Renee […]

  5. […] A Letter to My Sons – the real reason I say no to electronics | Renee Robinson. […]

  6. Theodyssey says:

    […] children. Let’s make memories. Let’s claim this time. Original post and comments can be found here.   Important note before you read – If you plan to skim this, please don’t bother to read it. […]

  7. […] Love::: A Letter to My Sons […]

  8. […] time you said “no” to your kids’ requests to play on the iPad today? Read this inspiring, heartfelt letter from a mom about why she says “no” to her 3 boys when they ask to play […]

  9. […] Originally Published: Renee-Robinson.com […]

  10. […] 05 | 27 | 14 I originally posted this letter to my boys in January 2014. Within the first 7 days, this post was viewed 70,000 times. I received comments and emails that left me in tears. So many of us share these feelings and this letter gave voice to what you held in your heart. I am reposting today because as we head into summer, it’s easy to slip into patterns of excessive screen time. I want to remind us that our time is short with our children. Let’s make memories. Let’s claim this time. Original post and comments can be found here.   […]

  11. […] I wrote A Letter to My Sons – (the real reason I say no to electronics), I was shocked when it went viral.  Shocked because this was a letter to my boys expressing my […]

  12. […] post I wrote titled A Letter to My Sons (the real reason I say no to electronics) served two purposes for me.  First, to explain my heart to my children.  Second, to remind myself […]

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