Screen-Free Week Challenge


Scary zombie-screen-faces

This week, our boys are participating in screen-free week, which is exactly what it sounds like; there will be no videos, no computer games, no screens for the whole week. We’re starting today with much excitement! Actually, we’ve whittled our boys’ screen time down to twice a week anyway (they usually get an hour of computer games every Wednesday and a movie on either Saturday or Sunday), so I don’t anticipate this to be very challenging for us, but that doesn’t mean it is not a big deal. It’s really important, and I’d love for you to join us!

Supporting screen-free week means focusing on daily life and being more present during the moments we are together as a family. I will probably struggle most with this, as I do all my writing and blogging on the computer, but I have set up posts in advance for every day this week in anticipation. I’m planning to do all the errands and cleaning and exercising I usually do while the boys are in school, but I’ve added a few to-do’s to my list to keep me from reaching for the computer, including gardening, mulching, and preparing for my trip to Ohio with Oliver next weekend (hooray!). The boys are especially looking forward to choosing a new book at their school’s book fair this week.

And while I realize that being completely screen-free for the adults is not easy or possible in some cases, it is totally do-able for your kids. If you decide not to go screen-free for the week, at least consider cutting back! Would you consider doing this? What do you see as potential drawbacks? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Screen-Free Week Challenge”
Post your thoughts

  1. I think it’s a great idea, Lauren. We always go screen-free on vacation (no computer, no tv, cell only for phone calls) and it’s so relaxing. Our kids (almost 3 and almost 1 year old) don’t watch tv or play computer games yet and we plan on keeping it that way for as long as we can. Many parents around us tend to use tv as a babysitter, if only for a few minutes, but after seeing how even just watching a few photos on the computer with grandma made my son a little crazy, I think this often backfires. I Know I’m quite dogmatic on this but I do think that tv should be left until children are at least 3, better 4 years old and even then, only very limited and selected programs. But we’ll see how it is with my younger child… As for us adults, the computer is a constant lure, but if it’s turned off, I don’t miss it. I think it’s very freeing to shut it off even if just for a day or two! Most of the stuff I do online is not really necessary or even that much fun – I’d much rather be reading the newspaper most of the time, but that shing screen is just so tempting!

  2. I like this idea… It would be “very hard” for my husband not to have the Cardinals game on, but it’s true that I too often use the TV as a babysitter in that witching hour when I’m trying to get dinner together and he’s not home yet and all I really want to do is sit down and relax and NOT listen to my daughter whine because we’re not having bagels for dinner.

    It occurs to me that maybe the solution is to keep the TV off and just have bagels for dinner…

  3. When I first read this I thought “huh, that’s so easy” because there are many weeks that go by when our girls have zero screen time. But then I thought about myself! I work at a computer screen all day long! So I guess there’s no skipping that.

    It is interesting though – at my previous firm we still drew everything by hand and I loved it. But when I started working here (eight-ish) years ago, the biggest transition I had to deal with was my transition from near zero-screen to all screen. I needed to make that change – it’s really just a tool of the profession – but it really did impact me in so many ways. Because we sat on stools (or stood) and drew at my old job, we were much more active at work, and at lunch time we’d make copies of the NYT crossword puzzle and work them individually around the table while we ate, and then we’d sit the copies at the corners of our desks and discuss words together we were stuck on. We always had NPR on in the background, and we had such great conversations around the programs or the crossword puzzle or whatever project we were working on. Working on a computer is much more isolating, even in this open office environment. Now I check my personal email or read a blog post or two over morning coffee or while eating lunch at my desk (like now). It sounds kind of sad when I type it out this way.

    It’s not all bad though – I like the connectivity (and even the creativity) that still exists there. And because I sit at a computer all day, I have zero interest in sitting at one when I’m home, outside of writing a blog post. And my biggest pet peeve is hearing a TV on as background noise. I can’t stand it. We have one TV, squirreled away in an out of the way room, and quite honestly, I don’t even know how to turn it on or use the remotes. I do love the occasional opportunity to watch a movie with my husband late on a weekend night, with a beer and popcorn. I don’t think I’d want to give it up completely, but we seriously limit its use.

    My oldest can handle watching an occasional show with us – we do record Amazing Race, and watch it on our own schedule, just the three of us. It’s so much fun. The little one thinks watching a show is such a treat, but she’s a monster when the program is over, and so we’re happy to let weeks go by between the occasional viewing. She just cannot handle it.

    Could I give up my smart phone? Hmm, honestly, probably not. I love the connectivity to friends and family via Instagram since I’m not on Facebook outside of the middle school PTO page communications, and I also really don’t like texting. I like the visual aspect of IG. What works for our family, though, is plugging the phones in downstairs when we get home and leaving them there.

    It seems like your family is already pretty screen-free, especially in this nice weather, but enjoy your week off anyway.

    PS – I went to Blueprint Coffee yesterday afternoon and got the coffee with the tonic water and the berry jam – so delicious, a fun treat. Thanks for the rec!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *