How To Successfully Do a Technology Fast

How To Successfully Do a Technology Fast. Cut technology  out  to  help  kids  not  be  addicted  to  technology.

I expected weeping and wailing. Gnashing of teeth. I at least expected gasps of utter horror.


Instead I got nonchalant, “Okay” responses from my children. My four-year old may have furrowed her brow in consternation a bit, but no words were uttered.


I had made the announcement. We were going to have a technology fast.


A fast. To abstain from. Completely.


No television. No movies. No devices. No video games.




For an entire week.


We already limit technology at our house. 3 hours a week per child of video game/device time. Maybe a movie each week. Rarely television during school weeks. Like, maybe one evening a week if they do that instead of the movie.


Even so, the kids were addicted. Technology was the only thing they could think to do. We probably had some extra technology time with the extra harsh winter we were going through, but not by much. All they could think to do was watch TV or play video games.


So we needed a little detox session.


A little into the fast, Kaitlyn made a comment one more that everyone was so happy. Brayden piped in and said it was because we were doing the technology fast and having no screen time made everyone happier. Kaitlyn then asked if we could do a technology fast every month and Brayden agreed.

Read Effective Parenting in the Digital Age

How to Do a Technology Fast

Here are the details of the fast.


Step 1: Start with a warning or heads up

I told my kids one week before the fast that we would be going without technology for a week. This gave them plenty of time to process the idea and mentally prepare themselves. I of course reminded them periodically throughout the week, and the night before.


When you give your warning, your children might ask why you will be doing that. Brayden asked me. I was fully honest with him. I had been doing my research for my Rules for Balancing Screen Time post and explained the situation to him. Technology has been found to be as addictive as drugs, and at times we might need to cut back to help ourselves maintain control over ourselves.


Step 2: Start the fast on the start day

This is a simple task! Remind the family that the technology fast is starting.


Step 3: Stick to the fast

Stick to the fast! No screens for no reason. There will be things that come up that leave you wishing you chose a different day. Stay strong! Do not cheat! You are DEtoxing. You can’t sprinkle it in there when it seems convenient and expect to get detoxed.


During our fast, Brayden had a swim meet. Swim meets are loooong (hours) and they are not the kind of event that draw you in the whole time. You get excited when your swimmer swims, which lasts half a minute to a couple of minutes depending on the distance. You might look up if there are a lot of cheers for other swims, but for the most part, you do a lot of sitting. We typically let the girls do some movie watching during a swim meet. Couldn’t do this one!


Kaitlyn and McKenna had already taken up weaving through the week since they were doing no technology, so they had their weaving stuff with them. Brinley did some coloring, looking at books, and some sitting on my lap harassing me. It was definitely harder with her without the technology to distract her, but it wasn’t a terrible, horrible experience.


Step 4: Point out the happy feelings that come

Just like Brayden pointed it out for us, when people have that extra perk in their step, find a great new hobby, or have fun inventing a new game, point out how they were able to do it all thanks to the technology fast.


Step 5: Repeat when necessary

We really are doing a fast for one week of each month, and it is so worth it! Repeat your own fast as needed.



A technology fast can be hard, but it is a great way to help break obsessive focus on technology in the home. You might be afraid and expect that gnashing like I did, but you will definitely find positive results if you give it a go.

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4 thoughts on “How To Successfully Do a Technology Fast”

  1. So would you suggest maybe going to a craft store the week prior and getting other activities for them to do or just use whatever you have around the house already?

    • It depends on how much you already own. I, for example, already have more than enough around here to keep my children occupied. When my kids were much younger, though, we didn't have much and it would have been nice to be sure to have some things on hand. You just build up a lot over years!I will say, though, when Kaitlyn and Brayden were 2 and 4, we went about 6 months with no television. I didn't do anything like buy or prep. And they were fine! They took some adjusting, but they quickly adapted to a no TV life. So if there are things you would like to have anyway, go get some. A huge benefit of no technology is the kids have to be creative and find ways to entertain themselves, which they absolutely do if left to their own devices. With my kids and their weaving, that wasn't something i suggested. They came up with it and executed it on their own. We already own a lot of yarn, so they were able to find what we had and do something with it.

  2. How about the parents ? Do you leave your smartphones and computers for a week every month ? Or do you limit it to some specific times (only for work and family phone calls for exemple). Or is the fast only for children ?

    • We both use our computers for work, so we do use it for work. And the kids will use computers at school or home if there is a school assignment they need to work on for school. Or if their teacher shows a movie in class, they will watch the movie.


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