Could you unplug your TV for 7 days? How about that PS4?
Could your family be screen free and leave that video screen alone? What would you do instead of watching? What role does screen time play in your daily life? Entertainer, pacifier, babysitter, time filler and/or a distraction? Many parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend with screens. And with good reason! Research shows that screen time gets in the way of activities known to be good for young children, however:
kids who spend less time with screens fall asleep faster, sleep longer, eat healthier, and get more exercise. Click to tweet
National Screen Free Week
People reassess the role screen time plays in their daily lives and encourages replacing that time with more active habits that focus on creating, discovering, building, participating and doing.
Did you know:
People who watch television often develop what is known as “Mean World Syndrome”, a type of depression where they tend to view the world at large as a dangerous or terrible place filled with acts of violence
By the time the average child is 18, they will have witnessed thousands of murders and hundreds of thousands of acts of violence during screen time.
In an average four hours of Saturday morning cartoons a child will view over 200 advertisements for junk foods and candy.
- 56% of parents of young children believe that baby videos are good for child development. There is little to no credible evidence that any type of screen time is beneficial to babies and toddlers and some evidence that it may be harmful.
- Each additional hour spent in front of the TV per week at age two-and-a-half corresponded to a 7 percent decrease in classroom engagement, a 6 percent decrease in overall math achievement, and a 10 percent increase in being bullied by peers
Kids don’t remember their best day of television. ~Author Unknown
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Building Resiliency During Screen Free Week:
- Turn your living room into a place for family interaction and play by arranging the furniture so the TV is not the focus of the room.
- Ensure that your before school morning routine doesn’t involve screen time.
- Make meals a time for your family to talk about the day without distraction from TV, smartphones, and other screens.
- Take a break from your smartphone and other screens during periods of the day and model good screen time behaviour.
- Take the opportunity to experiment and see what other activities may arise by shutting off the screen.
Here are some suggestions:
- Read a book.
- Go for a walk.
- Play with your pet.
- Go through your closets and clothes and donate surplus items.
- Start a diary/journal.
- Play cards.
- Watch the night sky.
- Train for a 5K race.
- Go fishing.
- Play a board game.
When It Takes Over Our Lives
TV and screen time is not all bad. It becomes a negative when we let it take over our lives.
For many of us, we stop making active decisions about how we are going to spend our time and hours go by in front of the screen. Click to tweet
We grow accustom to the silence of watching TV and it allows us to avoid communication with those around us. It separates us from those we love, even when we are in the same room. It can taint our perspective and the way we see the world as it is full of negative images. During Screen Free Week, challenge yourself. Move outside of your comfort zone and focus on being creative, an active participant and connected to those around you.
It is a happy talent to know how to play. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!