Is Life Possible Without Devices?
We canceled cable.
People thought we had lost our minds.
We accepted a school challenge for no TV for one week of school. We thought we would die without any devices for the first few days. Then we realized we had more fun as a family than we had ever had.
We went on walks and played in the park. My husband and I were able to connect while the kids had fun. We played board games as a family and got to know our children’s personalities better.
Once we committed to no cable, we found an extra hundred dollars per month to enroll the kids in sports, tumbling, and dance classes.
In the summer we had the kids take swim lessons.
Our oldest until six years old thought this was a terrible idea.
She was so afraid of swimming that I eventually took her to the Swim Nazi.
I cried as much as she did. I had to drop her off and not stay. The teacher got control of the kids without the hovering parents around. The Swim Nazi told the kids that crying would scare her butterflies and birds away and if they did not listen to her or if they cried, she would push them under the water with a pool net. She had to make an example of one child and after that all the kids were swimmers.
As our children have gotten older, we have had them in art classes, painting ceramics, playing on skateboards and scooters, and family bike rides. Without devices in our lives we have been able to find the interests of our children and direct them to having a passion in their lives. We do have a limited amount of time and money like all families. But I think our children understand that they take turns. No matter how hard we try, our kid activities are not always equal. Some passions cost more than others or take more time with game days, but we do our best.
Lastly, we organize play dates. This can be the hardest to accept the responsibility and the cost of even more kids in your home, but very rewarding. Even when we moved to a new neighborhood, my husband put an ad in our Next-door website for playmates listing our children’s ages and interests.
I thought how awesome my husband was to get involved,
but then we found a stalker friend.
We are great family friends now, but in the beginning I thought she was a stalker texting my husband to get together at the park with the kids. Now we have a great family friend that we can do everything with all from trying to find a friend for our children.
The bottom line is your family not only can live without gaming devices and television, but you will all be better off for the absence or reduction in screen time. We find that a tired kid is a great kid!