Something new our family has started to do is technology-free Wednesdays. We love some of the benefits that technology gives us. Being able to stay in touch with loved ones far away, helping with our homeschooling, and yes, entertaining us!
However, we also know how addicting this form of entertainment can be, and so we have decided to make one day each week our technology free day. That means, no computer-time, no TV or movies, no tablets or smart-phones (we still do allow texting since that is the easiest way for my husband to contact me when he is at work- but it's very minimal).
The first week, the kids all came to me again and again asking what they could do. =) I had become very dependent on keeping the little ones entertained with a movie or educational games on the Kindle while I homeschooled or cleaned.
Yes, mom joined in the coloring fun =)
So we enjoyed some "low-tech" fun, spent sometime taking a walk outside in our beautiful Southern spring weather, and got a lot done! We are a family that spent 5 years without any cable, so this isn't a new idea for us, however, I think it is invaluable for our kids to teach them how to spend a day entertaining themselves without instant gratification that electronics supply.
And though I am very grateful for our technology and think that in many ways in has taught us new things and helped us learn, I also believe that, its very easy to become addicted to those forms of entertainment, especially for young children, and to struggle to let your brain calm down enough to be entertained by something less stimulating.
We have so many children these days that are being diagnosed with attention-lacking disorders, is it possible that simply teaching them how to slow down could make it easier for them to focus and pay attention?
I am someone who grew up watching TV a lot. When I first got married nothing changed and we spent most of our meals in front of the TV instead of at the table. When our second child was born, and we were still eating in the living room, we knew we had to learn how to sit at the table and eat as a family. But, honestly we were so addicted to the TV that it was very hard to stop! So we did something drastic, we had the cable disconnected!
It was hard at first, but my husband and I always say that first year without the TV we got more accomplished than we had in the previous 8 years! It was amazing how much our time had been occupied by that TV. I also found that I could sit and read a non-fiction book much easier without feeling bored. That was what really made me wonder about the influence of TV on our ability to focus, it certainly negatively effected my ability to focus!
So, I am here to encourage your family as well! Pick a day and turn off the technology! Teach your kids how to entertain themselves in lots of creative ways!!!
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