How Long Could Your Kids Last Without Screens?
Parents, what would your kids do if they had no access to screens? What if your kids couldn't even play on your phone? A blogger Molly Defrank, who is a mom was blown away when she got home and one of her kids greeted her with "Can I play on your phone?"
This set the mom of 5 off. The blogger and her husband broke the news to their kids that they would not be using screens for a month. After her kids had their meltdowns they quickly adapted.
DeFrank's said that her kids were playing with LEGO's, going outside, and even writing their own novels. What did the family do during their big road trip? They packed library books.
"But how could I get my own tasks done—laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning—if these 5 kids weren’t occupied with screens for an hour? My fear of the fallout kept me from making any decisions I’d regret until my baby asked me for my phone before greeting me."
Parents if you think your life will come to a halt if you take the screens away from your kids. Think again. That same fear is what held back this blogger. However, the screens were taken away anyway and the result was wonderful.
"I can’t believe I’m saying this but we are on week three of kid screenlessness. Why would we do this to them? To us?
Three weeks ago, I ran some errands and when I came home several hours later, one of my kids greeted me at the door with this: “Can I play on your phone?” 😳
Not “Hi!” Not “Mommy!!!” Simply, “Hey, electronics gatekeeper. Gimme my next fix.” Exsqueeze me?
We’d always allowed the kids an hour or so of screen time after chores. It didn’t feel reckless. The standards we’d set felt responsible, even. But we had noticed that our precious sweet people were displaying behaviors that more closely resembled Gollum than Sméagol.
I knew screens were turning my babies into cranky Lord of the Flies characters. But how could I get my own tasks done—laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning—if these 5 kids weren’t occupied with screens for an hour? My fear of the fallout kept me from making any decisions I’d regret, until my baby asked me for my phone before greeting me.
David and I broke the news to the kids at dinner that we were taking a screen break. After the weeping and gnashing of teeth subsided, we all moved on.
The following morning, the kids didn’t even ask for screens since they knew it was a non-starter. I found them reading, doing LEGOs, playing outside, writing their own graphic novels. We even took a four hour weekend road trip to visit my parents in So Cal—with no movies, just a stack of library books and good conversation. If they try to tell me there’s nothing to do, I rattle off some ideas and then tell them if they’re still having trouble thinking of something I’m happy to give them a chore! They find something pretty quick.
I cannot believe how easy it’s been. I feel like I have my kids back. Of course, we still have sib squabbles from time to time. But not to the extent as when screens were involved. In case you were considering doing the same, I just wanted to encourage you with our great experience so far with five kids under ten.
Selah has reluctantly told me three separate times that she is glad we aren’t doing screens. She’s read half a dozen chapter books in the last three weeks, one was 700 pages.
Want to join us?! What are your kids’ fave screen-free independent activities?"
Parents, will you be trying this "no screen time" with your family? How long do you think your family could last before the screens were brought back into your home?