So, I’m here which means I survived Screen-Free week. As expected, I had the hardest time with it; my family handled it wonderfully though. And, yes, we put Big Brother and Little Sister to work. Thankfully, at 7 and 4, they still enjoy a little work in the yard.
Here’s the lowdown on what went on while unplugged…the good, the bad, and the eye-opening.
The kids were awesome. Honestly, they surprised us. We never once heard the dreaded, “I’m bored” or “we don’t know what to do”. They made it really easy on us and (gasp) found other things to do besides play on the iPad or watch one of their favorite shows.
Sure…most of our down time looked like this…
And the house seemed to be in a constant state of disarray, but whatever.
They read, played games, did crafts, played catch in the backyard, and amused us with their sibling antics.
I went through Facebook and Twitter withdrawls. It was SOOO hard not to scan my feeds and see what was going on. Day one sort of killed me…but then it got better. I felt free from that constant pull.
I locked myself out of the house on Friday. I kind of blame Screen-Free Week. My mind was so relaxed, calm, and uncluttered…I sauntered out of the house, locking the garage door behind me…without my keys. What a fiasco that was. Good thing for great friends willing to pick your kids up from school in a pinch and a husband who promptly dropped everything to get home before I called a locksmith.
Oh, and thank god for my iPhone. My little hand-held screen came to my rescue. Ironic, really.
And then Saturday came around. The week was so busy with school, work, and afterschool activities, that we hardly missed our screens anyway. Saturday was another screen-free story. Big Brother had an early baseball game and Little Sister had swimming lessons. We were home by lunchtime and we were beat. I didn’t want to entertain and the kids were clearly wiped out but no way were they going to take a nap.
I caved. I called it their reward for doing so darn good during Screen-Free Week…movie night for everyone! It was awesome and relaxing. Still, I feel a little guilty that their reward was really code for “my reward” and “I’m just too tired to do anything else”.
We had really been relying on various screens to get us through our days. I would routinely put on one of my kids’ favorite shows upon returning from work and school pick-up. I felt like it helped me and them to decompress and not immediately start in with the whining.
But you know what? There was less whining and less agitation this whole week. They found other ways to relax and unwind and I think they felt better connected to me because I wasn’t somewhere else on my computer. The various screens were definitely coming between us, I can see that now.
I was calmer and got more sleep. Enough said, right?
Moderation is still key. Saturday’s drawback reminded me that there are times when relaxing with a great movie is just plain awesome.
Changes we’re making
No TV or any other screen in the morning. We have enough trouble getting everyone out the door on time. I noticed a much calmer morning routine; and not having to remind Big Brother to get off the iPad and get dressed was really good for my sanity.
No screens in the car. Without the iPad or DSi for Big Brother and iPhone for Little Sister, our drives have been much nicer. Like they were before we introduced these portable screens. They actually look out the window and gawk at the passing train. Sure, we’re back to a million questions I don’t necessarily know how to answer…but I’ll take it! Long car rides are of course, the exception.
No more than 30 minutes of screen time on weeknights. They just don’t need it and bedtime has been so much better without it.
For me, no lingering on social media until my work (doctoring, writing, mothering, etc) is done. Which means until after the kids go to bed. This will be a challenge. But definitely a worthwhile one.
All in all, Screen-Free Week was a success. We may have broken a rule on Saturday, but sometimes…rules are meant to be broken, right? As a family, we are more in tune with each other and realize we may have been relying on our screens a little too much. What I love is that Big Brother and Little Sister genuinely seem proud that they accomplished this screen-free mission with us.
It brought us closer.
And that’s always good in my book.
Who else went Screen-Free last week? What surprised you the most about it? Ever thought about cutting back on your screen time?Pin It