I pulled the plug, y’all. We are officially screen-free.
I took away tablets and TV after school. (We were already a “no screens” in the a.m. household.)
It’s not that my kids were even watching that much. It’s that the attitude I was met with when it was time to turn them off essentially made taking them away the only option. It was always “5 more minutes?”, “But it’s almost over…” or “Just one more?” Even when I specifically laid out…you get 30 minutes, no more, no less…I was still met with irritation and disrespect.
So bye-bye screens.
Now at this juncture, I’ll tell you that I didn’t take away family TV time. One or two nights a week, we’ll sit down TOGETHER and watch an episode of The Voice, Ellen’s Game of Games or America’s Funniest Home Videos. We enjoy rating contestants and laughing together over the silly videos of cats and babies.
But sitting alone watching YouTube videos? No dice until the weekend.
And let me tell you, it has not been a walk in the park. My son pretty much deemed me the worst parent ever, and every Monday he seems to forget the rule, as he walks in the door and asks to watch a show. He acts SHOCKED when I look at him sideways and ask him what he thinks the answer is. There is eye-rolling and foot-stomping.
BUT…I’m holding to it.
The good news is that spring is finally (I think; I hope!) here and the kids can play outside. They can snag neighbors and play until dinner time, which is much preferable to the zoning out in front of the screens.
Did you know there is actually a Screen-Free Week? It’s next week (April 30-May 6) and schools/communities across the country will pledge to go screen-free for the entire week. Guess I just made this easier on my kids!
We received a book to prepare for the week called “Screen-Free Fun- 400 Activities for the Whole Family” It’s a cute book, full of ideas, so whenever a kid tells me there is NOTHING to do, I simply tell them to grab the book and see what strikes their fancy. It’s organized into four sections – Embrace Your Creativity, Enjoy the Great Outdoors, Support Your Community and Put a Fun Twist on Local Travel – and has activities like hunting for loose change in your house to making a wall of art.
Some of my favorite activities include:
- Building a playing card tower
- Making a comic strip
- Play hide and seek with objects
- Draw your family tree
- Sidewalk chalk art
- Create a racetrack on your driveway
- Host a spray bottle battle (perfect for summer and way better than squirt guns!)
- Write a letter to your out-of-town family
- Find old toys to donate to charity
- Make a vacation wish list
And of course, there are always chores!
So join us- go screen-free for the week, or heck, try it for a month!