At a recent fundraiser, I saw a little boy bugging his mom to bid on the basket I had donated. Filled with small card games, Farkle, and a couple of pieces of chocolate as a nod to the theme, it sat among other baskets filled with flowers, chocolate, toys, and tea.
"It would be perfect for digital time-out," he said excitedly. I looked at his mom. She said, "Digital time-out. Every Sunday afternoon, we go home and unplug. No TV, no computer, no hand held or video games. Digital time-out."
What a smart mom. What a cool tradition for the entire family. Here's how to make your own family digital time out:
- Parents play too. Take this time to unplug yourself, as well as your kids.
- Set aside a specific time frame each day and/or week. It might be after a certain time each night, or like this family, one afternoon each week.
- Substitute relationship and tradition-building activities. You could take turns deciding what to do, play board games, plant a garden, read together, bake something, or go on a field trip. Whatever you do, get any online reserach done before it's time for your time-out.
- See what happens. Notice if the tussles over electronics lessen over time, now that you have a designated time to do stuff without them. Notice if you are uncomfortable, too, leaving your cell phone off for a few hours.
- Adjust as needed. Maybe you're a family who needs digital time-out some of every day, maybe once a week--or maybe both. Adjust to your family's needs.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go take a time-out.....