Jeff Brazier made his sons give up their gadgets for a week... and they loved it
20 July 2018, 15:47 | Updated: 24 July 2018, 12:50
The TV life coach has urged other parents to give it a go after having an incredible week of fun with his two teenage boys.
Jeff Brazier says making his sons give up their gadgets for a week is one of the best parenting decisions he has ever made.
The life coach, who is father to Bobby, 15, and Freddie, 13, revealed that he initially took his sons' gadgets away as punishment, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions he'd ever made.
Jeff told Heart: "The results went far beyond what I expected them to be.
"I expected them to do a little bit more together and spend more family time, and actually it wasn't just that I got more time with them myself between parent and child, but actually as siblings my boys spent far more time playing with one another, interacting with one another.
"They were outside on the streets playing kerbsy, they were out with a football, playing with neighbours.
"People were coming out of their houses and joining in.
"And it was almost like 'wow I remember - this feels a lot more like my childhood!'
"Don't get me wrong, I didn't tell them to go out and play in the street - they did it naturally, just like we did.
"In the absence of distractions such as the devices, kids will find a way to entertain and amuse themselves."
However, Jeff was quick to clarify that he's not completely anti-gadgets and they will still play a big part in his family's day to day life.
He explained to Heart: "I absolutely understand that these devices are a big part of their lives - the internet is very important as it's where they get their research done for their homework - professionally and socially their lives are going to very much be based on the internet when they're older.
"It's not something I'm trying to abolish, I'm not anti-internet, but as a parent it's all about finding the right balance for your family, so you get the right amount of face to face time.
"There will be pockets of time where it will be relevant and okay for them to go and interact with their devices and play on their computer."
The father-of-two also admitted that, to begin with, his kids didn't take to the suggestion too kindly.
He told Heart: "Any parent maybe reading this might be like 'look Jeff it would to cause an absolute outbreak of fury and rage amongst my kids'...
"But it's worth going through those initial hours or days of them being disappointed and feeling like the world is going to end, and feeling like the worst parent in the world.
"I didn't mind doing that to be honest; to be fair the reason I did it was because it was punishment anyway - but it ended up playing into our hands because before long, a couple of hours later, I remember walking into Bobby's bedroom and he was reading a book.
"I guarantee you any other time I'd walk into his bedroom he'd be looking at his phone."
And did his kids thank him for it in the end?
"Kids will never turn round to you and say 'do you know what we've actually had a really good week because of not being on our devices'" smiled Jeff, "But I know for a fact they've enjoyed themselves and doing new things they haven't done before.
"It reminded them that they're kids."
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