"UnPlugged"- Technology Free Days
When I was a kid my grandparents had a cabin. It was smack dab in the middle of a magical land of imagination and pine trees. There were pine cone fights, freezing pond plunges, forts, hide and seek and all the bacon and talks around a bonfire that a kid could ask for. My dad use to take me to to the cabin a lot on “his” weekends. He my brother and I would usually meet up with cousins, uncles and my grandma and grandpa up there and enjoy an adventure. In the winter there was snow, in the summer there were beautiful sunsets from a deck that my dad built overlooking the valley below. I probably visited that cabin 50+ times. It changed a ton over the years. The last time I was there it looked even more different than I remembered but the wonder of it was still intact…and to bring my kids to enjoy and experience it was amazing.
I get so tired of tech. Honestly, our t.v. is on way too much throughout the day. If everyone gets to pick a 30 minute episode each day that works out to 3 hours of television for our big family. I’d love to say that is how much we watch but in reality I know it’s more. Then there are phones, computers, ipads/pods, and video games. It’s ridiculous. I know this is the time and place we are living in. I feel extremely blessed that we have information readily available and we can communicate with friends and family whenever we wish. But holy moly it is overwhelming. I rely on my phone so much. When I’m not calling or texting I scroll through social media or search recipes or DIY projects online. It’s too much and it gets to be something we reach for to fill the void.
The best thing about the cabin is that none of that is up there. Well there is a t.v. with a DVD player but that is kind of the extent of the technology available. Good luck getting a text or making a phone call up on the mountain…and you know what…that is just perfect by me.
So we took our kids up to the cabin for the first time last Thanksgiving. Why did it take us so long to get up there?! I dunno, life happened. But we made it. My dad, step mom and three brothers and my sister in law met us up there and it was pretty rad. The kids explored, I showed them my old forts built between cleared out boulders. We walked down to the pond engulfed in morning fog and took a risky ride up the mountain on A.T.Vs to explore abandoned areas. Not one time did my kids ask to play video games. Not once did they say they were bored. They were kids soaking in the great outdoors.
We have amazing babysitters. If I need an emergency babysitting session on a Sunday, though, I know that they aren’t gonna be easy to get a hold of. They have technology free days and Sunday is one of them. It is a different way of thinking to shut down and unplug. At first I admit I thought it was a bit unconventional…I mean I honestly hadn’t heard of someone actually putting a rule like this into place for “kids” their age…but the more I think of it I love it. Their family uses that time to communicate and do things together, and since they are together they aren’t worried about having their devices charged and within grasp.
I think tech is really cool. But it gets to be so invasive. We set limits for our kids on screen time but to be in a place where it wasn’t wanted or needed was refreshing. If you can go to a place to “unplug” do it. If not, perhaps set times/places where tech is shut down. Give those kids of yours time to exercise their imaginations. Teach them that it’s good not to fill every quiet space. Together you can learn to limit screen time and expand the wonder of imagination.
What limits do you set with screen time?