Sunday, January 13, 2013

Taking Away Screen Time

We had such a busy weekend of learning! 

Ian went on his first ever ski trip on Friday.  He took a quick lesson to get the basics and then spent the day practicing with my husband.  He had a wonderful time and came home trying to convince both his brothers that they had to try it next time.  They didn't want to go this time (and it was probably a good thing since I DON'T ski after an unfortunate leg- breaking incident when I was a kid) and he couldn't convince them to try it next time either.  Ian came home so proud of himself too; he's showing everyone his ski tag! 
     
My middle child lost his screen privileges for a month yesterday after he pitched an hour long fit over his Nintendo DS.  This means he can not play any video games, watch TV, or use the computer.

Since he's my worst screen junkie this has been torture for him, but I'm kind of glad it happened.

We've discovered so many other fun things to do! 



Yesterday was really hard for Alec.  He kept muttering "30 days" under his breath and had this wild look in his eyes... I tried to help him and told him to just take it one day at a time.  Then I'd suggest a few activities he could do. 

So far, Alec worked in my craft room making cards for his cousins, played with his animals in the sink with some water and shaving cream, made a kaleidoscope with a kit he got from Christmas, and spent the whole morning today in bed reading a book.  He's currently playing with toys-- truck toys (something Alec NEVER does!). 

I'm sure there will be times over the next 30 days I'll wish he could play screens but I'm really determined to stick to this. 

Since we all live in the same house, we all have had to limit our screen times too or else Alec would never be allowed to go in the living room. 

I don't mind this since that's forced everyone to find other activities too. 

In limiting our screen time we've learned:

  1. That there is more to life than TV, movies, and video games- something I think my boys have forgotten.
  2. To use our imaginations!
  3. How to occupy ourselves and regulate our time
  4. That we were using screens way to often as a fall back crutch.  Whenever we weren't sure what to do next we just turned on a screen.
  5. To communicate more with each other.  We play family games and play with one another more often.
  6. Some new hobbies (or rediscovered old favorites).
  7. Trial and error; the boys have been building and creating which often leads to mini failures and mistakes so they adjust their thinking and try again.


Yesterday after Ian played basketball he came home to play outside for a bit and then spent the afternoon in his room where made a barge, dredge, and sluice box out of Lego's (like those he's watched on Bering Sea Gold). 



He wants to own a barge like the one he made and he even asked me if we could test it out in the tub, so he spent most of the afternoon talking about buoyancy and trying to level out the dredge so it would float properly.  He eventually started making legs for it.  I was impressed with his level of dedication and all the trial and error attempts he made.

Ian spent his whole morning today working at the wood shop with my husband helping to make a birthday gift for his cousin.  It's great! 

Evan has probably spent the most time still playing screens but even he brought out a bunch of stuffed animals and he named them,  told me all about their strengths and weaknesses, and had them do battles. 

This morning I found him coloring at the table and he's so excited to start painting his stained "glass" window hanging he received last night. 
  
They think they're playing and trying to fill in time between screens (or until they can play them again) but I know they're learning! 

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