Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Screen Free Week

Did you know that this week is Screen Free Week?  If you are reading this, perhaps not!  We have decided to participate this year.

I have talked at length before of my struggle with media.  I love it, I hate it, I love it again.  We don't have cable, but we watch TV on Hulu and on Netflix.  It isn't that we have gotten rid of the TV, or the computers, or the Wii...but I have considered it.

Sometimes I think it would be so freeing to be away from all of that for a prolonged period of time.  I read books like The Winter of Our Disconnect and try to imagine what my life would be like for 6 months with no internet or TV to take me away from other activities.  Or a day when the kids don't have a "movie time" in the afternoon.  Could we do it?  Of course we could.  Would it be difficult?  I think yes, absolutely.

I want my kids to know how to entertain themselves, without the use of an electronic device.  Obviously, most parents want this.  And I do see that my kids are able to do this, but I find that they are asking for the electronics more the older they get.

Since it is finally starting to be warm outside, I don't foresee many issues with the kids this week and not having the TV on.  They love to play outside, and will gladly stay outside all day long if I let them.  And I would love that, except that I can't just let my almost 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old hang out outside while I am in doing laundry/cooking/dishes etc.  It is their movie time that I typically use to catch up on e-mail, get dinner ready, fold laundry, do other chores.  And while I don't like the phrase - tv as a babysitter - sometimes that is exactly what it ends up being.

Here are some interesting articles I have read about children and TV:

Resources: Fact Sheets on advertising and children

on how (& why) I use TV as a babysitter - Steady Mom

Electronic Babysitter Bad for Kids

Advantages for children to watch TV

This is definitely a hot button issue, and while I sometimes wish we had no screens in our home, I do recognize the benefits of having technology available.

Where do you fall on this controversial topic?  If you didn't know about screen free week, do you think you will try to finish out the week screen free?  Do you practice a sabbatical from TV regularly?  Or do you feel that "all in moderation" works well for your family?


  1. I didn't realize it was screen free week! Oops! Yes, moderation is key and I also agree it's easier as our weather gets nicer to reduce the screen time, get outside and enjoy that "screen" outside, so much to see!

  2. I definitely use tv as a babysitter, for sure! I make sure that it goes off for very long periods during the day though, and I love afternoon movie time after lunch! We could definitely benefit from some screen free time, but I think i would struggle the most!! Good luck.

  3. We couldn't do without our TV in the evening. Most of the time, it is not on during the day. I sometimes think I ought to give up blogging because it does take up a lot of my time but I don't think I will! LOL!!


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