We recently had to pull the proverbial plug on the TV. Not quite literally pull the plug but we put our children on a screen detox. It started out as only a day, but when we saw the change after that one day of no screens we decided to keep going. Simply, we didn’t turn on the TV or allow iPad usage and the I thought it was going to drive me completely mad and the kids would run wild, but there were some great benefits I saw, to my surprise.
What happened after a week of no screen time? The benefits were definitely worth it!
1. We talked!
We had meaningful conversations without interruptions or distractions.
2. We played!
We played a lot more–using our imaginations and pulling out toys that always seem to be hidden away. Board games and puzzles were fun again!
3. We had more time!
We didn’t feel rushed or off schedule. We weren’t lost behind a screen losing track of precious time.
4. We enjoyed each other’s company.
There were more baked goods and crafts waiting in the kitchen. As a benefit of more time we were able to bake and craft and enjoy each others company while doing both.
5. Independent play happened organically.
We weren’t begging our children to play alone or with each other for a bit because it just happened.
6. We had more help with chores and household tasks.
The dishwasher was unloaded faster, without complaint and with offers to help with other tasks around the house. Shoes found homes in their appropriate rooms and toys seemed to have a place to rest at the end of the day.
7. Huge behavior change!
The best result in our home was the behavior change that happened in our children, especially our oldest. Her tone and attitude seemed to disappear, we had more positive interactions than negative and everyone was giving (and receiving) the attention they so desperately needed.
I know the idea of no screens for any length of time is daunting, but like anything, moderation is key, and in our home screen time was out of control. The detox was just like any other detoxification process: tough at first but worth it in the end!
Photo credit: adapted from flickingerbrad | Flickr