How much time per day do you spend facing a screen on the computer, phone or television? These devices have become a very key part of our lives, and yet with each new screen, we find more and more time to spend on them. Pretty soon you look around at the bus stop or park, and what have you started to see?
I’m seeing more and more parents not watching their kids play or couples at dinner not talking because they are on their phones! I didn’t realize how much I depended on my phone until my trip to Bolivia in April. We were in very rural areas and without electricity for a few days. So, those who had phones couldn’t use up their batteries by looking through emails. They had to save power to make phone calls.
I remember childhood with one phone for the whole family, and not always having a television. Taking some time to look at my own home and kids, I realized that we should spend less time on screens and make it a family rule. We’ve been limiting our screen time for a month now and I have to say, it’s much less stressful to get out the door, and even around dinner time.
As we transition our home for less screen time, we made a chart and decided that the kids could earn screen time in 5-minute increments during school days to be enjoyed on the weekends. That translated to my husband and I spending less time on our computers and phones, and we’re all playing board games or reading books a few times per week! Now, at first the kids hated me for this change. They whined and complained for only about 3 days, then started to enjoy more time to play with their toys.
My husband and I enjoy more quality time with the kids, and I’m more efficient with my time on the computer. Instead of jotting down a few ideas and getting lost doing research on various topics, I sit down after the kids are at school or asleep for the night and focus on one thing at a time. I can honestly say, I feel more focused and it was worth the short-term pain of changing our ways to let go of so much screen time!
And, yes, I did a bit of research before our family made this change. Some people make the move away from so much screen time by dedicating weekends or just a day per week away from their computers, tablets and cell phones. Other people use apps to track how much time they spend on the Internet or texting to keep track of where they’re spending too much time.
Now that summer is fast approaching, our family will have to set new rules around all the school free time. And, I look forward to more reasons to be outside so that screens don’t creep back in to make our lives more stressful.
So, no matter where you are in life or how many kids you have, there are many ways to disconnect more from technology if it’s causing stress. If you have tips to share please share, and we’d love to add it to our blog: http://www.hensenlifestyle.com/ email us so we can include your tips: firstname.lastname@example.org