(written on February 24th, 2019)
Every few months my kids need a screen/media detox. They actually do not have much media at home (no tablets, no wifi currently, no computer, no smartphone usage), but I can see behavior changes even with the occasional movie. So, we are doing No Media March!
We did no screens for 6 months in 2017 after a move and also in June 2018 and November 2018 and saw amazing results each time. Here are a few benefits I see every time:
- Less fighting between my two children
- More creative play
- Less fits, complaining, talk-back
- Kind words between each other
- Helpfulness and thoughtfulness increase
- more family time
- Better sleep
- Better eating habits (my kids healthier without media because they do not do “mindless eating” while watching a movie)
The goal is to keep technology out of the house and make home a calming environment. Also, March weather in Arizona is almost perfect, so we will have plenty of outdoor activities to keep us busy.
Some may argue a media ban during school Spring break is a horrible idea. I hear that! But I have found that having a media ban during these breaks makes them less stressful. It forces me to research other (free) activities and keep us busy. It leads to more outdoor time and calmer children.
The other argument is March Madness. I LOVE March Madness and make a bracket every year. Hear what I am saying parents: this is a screen ban for the children….not for me or K :).
My children are welcome to watch March Madness with K and I, and we welcome those family moments watching sports together.
So here is what March will look like for my children based on the technology available in our home:
- No movies or TV
- No Nintendo DS
Things allowed include:
- Screens at our library (there is an Xbox and educational games)
- Screens at a friend’s home
- Movie theater movies: on our June ban there was the annual summer movie program where they show old kids movies for $1. This was okay to me because it was a special outing and a great way to beat the summer heat.
So wish us luck! Let it be a month full of sunshine, hikes, kind words, no fighting, and college basketball!