Saturday, February 9, 2013

UNPLUG: February and March's Challenge

Few... nap time and finally a moment of silence.
 Last month's challenge of setting priorities led me to contemplate about the hurdles we face as families to put those priorities first. Sometimes it's the little things we distract ourselves that get in the way of what we are trying to put first.

Sheesh, life is so much different than when I was a kid and a teenager.  In Junior High the cool thing was to have was a pager! (which I never got to have) I think I sent my first text message in collage on a Nokia phone with an retractable antenna and today, there are way more distractions- pinterst, instagram, facebook just to name a few!

So,  my challenge this month is: To take time every day where you:

That's right- UNPLUG for a a few hours a day from screens, computers, smart phones,  ipads, video games, tv shows- whatever it may be that has you and your family distracted. Okay so many of you may have already got a grip on this but for those of you who don't- You have to watch  this documentary: Captivated

One thing I found interesting in this documentary is all the research they have done on the affect t.v. has on our children. Studies are now showing the more t.v. a child watches and the more fast pace it is- the less attention span they develop. They are also finding that activities such as reading to your child, going for walks, taking your child to the museum actually increases attention span. I'll provide some more interesting research in later posts....but I have to tell you how this challenge came about.

It all started when I was on vacation enjoying time with extended family in the absolute most beautiful tropical paradise. We had all gathered outside the dinner table overlooking the ocean and the lush green hills. There is something that I love about gathering around a table, enjoying delicious food and great conversation. But as I looked around at the table- I was surprised (and not surprised) to see most the entire family captivated with their smart phones. Their eyes were anxiously engaged on their screen, as their fingers quickly scrolled to see what the latest status updates on Facebook and photos posted to instagram were.  Even my two-year-old son wanted in on this action and kept trying to sit on someone's lap to get a better view of what they were looking at. His obsession with ipads, phones, and game aps was born on this trip. It left an impression on my mind on how I don't want my family to fall into this same trap. It reminded me that the distractions of the outside world will only become worse and how I must change things now in my life for the sake of my family. If we were on that same trip just a few years earlier- this scene would be so much different. I just may have to set limits in my home...and it is starting now.

I am not here to claim that I am perfect- Just look at the photo above... I am crossing the street, holding my child, and texting at the same time. Totally GUILTY. But I feel as I have been doing my monthly challenges that I am learning (slowly) about living and enjoying the life I want to have and sometimes that means taking out some of the less important (yet fun) distractions in life to make room for the essential ones.

I also have a first this challenge was really something I thought of and disguised for my husband who was/is working 60 hours a week at one job and putting in an additional 20 hours in another one. Obviously, our moments as a family together are sacred and LIMITED and I feel like I have to set boundaries somehow before the outside distractions and work takes our time.

But then, as I realized through my difficulty in skipping The Bachelor two-day-special 3 hour special last week- that I too have distractions where I need to make the sacrifice. My family needs this.

Who is in?

So, I have decided that on Monday through Fridays from 6:30-9:30pm phones, t.v, and ipads are OFF. (unless we are on a date or away where the babysitter needs to get a hold of us or special occasions were it is essential) I said 9:30- so there is a little couple time after kids have gone to bed. Parents need that too. ;)

BTW- I'm still refining what I want the weekends to look I will let you know what we came up with for that one...but this is what I have so far.

Do any of you have ideas I can use that you do in your home?


1 comment:

  1. I used to have a rule when children were little to not have any tv during school nights. There was only one show they could watch on thursdays for an hour and it was great!