Habyts has a new focus! Learn more.

How to Lose Your Screen Sanity in Less Than 30 Days

Kids. They love to make you question your sanity.

Last week, I felt like we made strides in our screen challenge.

This week, we lived up to the word challenge again. At one point, my son said, “I love my Kindle. If I could, I’d only ever just play on it all day long!”

Insert major facepalm here.

Shortly after that random exclamation of screen love, I sat down on the couch next to my husband and lamented. He continued playing his video game. I told him I was feeling mighty unsupported in the whole screen-challenge thing. His response was, “You know this is what I love to do.”

To his benefit, he did get off the game – might have had something to do with my death glare – and we pried the kids off their screens. We made a night of doing other things.

By other things, at this point, we’re talking about playing board games. They come running when we say we’re about to play another round of Descent. I’m not complaining, though. I love that game. It’s working them into tabletop roleplaying, too. I’ll take that win!

However, much of my planned activity list is a wash. The artistic endeavors interest them enough for them to ask me what I’m doing. When I make the offer for them to join in, they shrug and wander off. Other, more physical activities (Nerf wars, Legos, etc.) hold their interest for a short time, but we can feel their desire to go do their own thing. Even mid-game, when we took a break to pull our pizza out of the oven, my son flipped on Netflix. I had to tell him directly that we were in a screen-free zone.

Kids These Days

My husband made the comment earlier in the week that we’re raising a new generation of kids. Technology is ever-present and integrated into their lives. It’s a part of home life and school life. They can’t fathom the technological void that was my generation’s childhood.

I told my daughter about the joys of three-way calling when I was her age. I could talk to two people at one time! It was a big deal! She laughed and pointed out that she can talk to all her friends at once on Skype. I would have loved to have Skype as a pre-teen.

I feel the tug of understanding. As a software engineer, I do spend a lot of time with screens.

At the same time, I appreciate the sense of calm obtained through a screen-free environment. By cutting my own ties to screens over the last three weeks, I’ve reduced my own anxiety by a good half.

The question is do kids seek out peace and calm? Am I misunderstanding the problem yet again, approaching it through the eyes and experiences of adults?

The Home Stretch

With one week to go, I’m making a last push. In some ways, the coming week is easier than the rest. We have many plans to be out of the house.

Today is Memorial Day in the States. We’ll be at the ice den, letting the kids get in some practice.

Keep an eye out for my final wrap-up next week. I have many thoughts about the challenge. It might not have been exactly what I expected, but it certainly hasn’t been a failure, either. As with all scientific experiments, it’s good to keep an open mind and focus on what is, and not what we want to have happen.

Brocreative via shutterstock

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Return to the Habyts Blog
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x