As much as we’d love to think our role as parents is to protect our kids from screen time, chances are we might need some protecting, too!
Even the most tech-savvy of us can be sucked into our devices, (SPOILER ALERT! They were designed to do that.) It doesn’t help that our work and personal lives increasingly intersect online and work/life balance has become less of a goal and more of a fairy tale.
Screen-Free Week can help parents and caregivers, too, as the following guest post from past participant Amanda Gilbert explains.
Screen Free week is always a great reset for our family. It helps us prioritize what really matters.
In our family, it is probably most beneficial for Mom and Dad. With our phones—that can do so much more than simply contact people—constantly on us, it is so easy to be sucked into the screen. Social media, shopping, movies and more grab our attention so readily.
During Screen-Free Week my husband and I commit to using our phones as phones only. We call and text with them, but no Facebook, Tiktok, or other media. I even try to go to the computer for email during that week so my phone is just a phone.
Every year this leads us to realize just how much we use our phones for media. We realize how often our heads are down and not focused on our children. We pledge to do better and we do better for a while, but then life catches up and we slip into old habits. Screen-Free Week gives us a chance to reset every year.
For the kids, it’s not too challenging. During the year, they only watch an hour of shows a day and occasional weekend tablet use. But they whine the first day and plead the second. By day three they are ready to find new things to replace show time.
Last year we built a fort, read lots more books, and played outside more. The kids became excited to come up with their own activities to replace our typical screen time. I’m looking forward to seeing what creative ideas they come up with this year in lieu of screen time!
Thanks for your story, Amanda!
Amanda’s thoughts are part of our “Share Your Screen-Free Story” campaign. If you’ve participated in Screen-Free week in the past and want to share your insights, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll take your story however you’d like to share it—write it out, create a poem, sing a song, film a video, share art inspired by the experience. The choice is yours!
Photo courtesy of Luemen Rutkowski via Unplash