Tag: screen free family time

Screen Free

As free as the wind blows, as free as the grass grows, I want to be free! At least for a few days, wouldn’t it be fun to have your whole family be free from screens?

Do you know about the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood? They do a lot of good work lobbying to get commercials and marketing and advertising out of children’s lives and out of public schools. They bring a lot to light for families and for organizations in regards to just how much advertising is thrust at our children, at our families, from birth on. Check out their website to see just how much good work they do.

This month they are also organizing the annual SCREEN FREE WEEK from April 30th-May 6th. It’s a great way for families and children to break away from the screens for a week and see just how big a part screens play in our lives. Everyone on their own screen – watching, texting, reading, exploring and zoning out on the screen be it phone, computer, tv, game station or other. It’s sort of relentless. It’s not that screen usage is bad, au contraire! But the numbers show that the average child spends 7.5 hours per day on a screen. That’s a lot of time staring at electronics. And a lot of time not engaging with the world and with each other.

In our house during school days we do a couple hours everyday screen free – from 5-7 there’s no surfing, texting, emailing, viewing. It’s not always easy. But it feels pretty good. And 2 hours feels totally doable.

Can you do it? Do you dare? Can your family be screen free? Can you turn it all off (excluding work of course which still must get done!) Can you spend that time doing something else? Here’s some ideas to get you going…

  • Go outside and lay in the grass.
  • Hug a tree
  • Play jumprope
  • Draw on the sidewalk with chalk
  • Play a game
  • Draw together
  • Go for a walk
  • Look up random words in the dictionary
  • Visit a neighbor
  • Have friends over
  • Throw a party – invite only your own family
  • Have a fancy dinner
  • Play charades
  • Listen to music
  • Build something

Take a week and slow it down. Connect with each other and with nature and with your imagination. See what you come up with. And if you’ve got some screen free ideas of your own, let me know.



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Keeping Score

We’re back to school now a couple of weeks. All are settling into new routines, new friendships, new lessons learned. We’re finding our groove and mostly I’d say we’re doing pretty well.

I did 2 radio interviews yesterday for 2 Canadian stations (I’m big in Canada!) about back to school and finding the familial groove of your own. We talked about slowing down. Asking my favorite question, “Is this working for us?” Pondering before committing. And also scheduling times for the family that are intentionally tech/screen/phone free. No games. No phones. No computers or televisions. Just face time. Real face time that is. And family. Even if it’s just for an hour, making sure that we schedule it in so that the family can take some time just being together.

After the interview I asked my 8 year old how she thought I did with the phone/tech stuff. “As your mom, on a scale of 1-10, how do I handle the screen/phone/tech time?” She pondered. She put her finger on her chin which is her sign that she is really measuring it all up.

“Seven!” she declared. “No eight. No! 7 and a half. You do pretty good but you could do better.”

Out of the mouths of babes. I’ll take that score. And I’ll try and raise it one. I’m going back to turning my phone off in the evening hours. Not just buzzing in my pocket. But off. I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you ask your own kids, what kind of score do you think they would give you?

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