Going Electronics Free for a Month
Children and electronics.
Electronics and children.
It seems like they just go together, doesn’t it?
We need to get something done? Hand the child a phone.
We need them to sit through dinner? TV can be on in the background.
We need to get housecleaning done? Just let them watch a show on the iPad.
Of course it does. This is almost every parent I know! Including me!
What about electronics free kids? Sound interesting?
I will be honest with you. I love electronics. I love that I live in a time when I can easily distract my child with a phone at the grocery store or a DVD in the car on a long drive. My son C is ASD and ADHD and sometimes a game on the phone is the only thing that will help him slow down, calm down and feel safe when the environment around him is overwhelming.
You can read more about our story HERE.
Going Electronics Free
I get it. I know and understand the positives in using electronics and their importance. I wrote a whole blog post in my support for electronics. You can read it HERE.
But then sometimes our kids just need a break from them. You need your kids to be electronics free even for just a while.
I have a child that gets a little…lets say addicted to electronics. I have strong boundaries on usage and time spent on electronics but even that is sometimes not enough. He will beg and cry to play a game or watch youtube and then that will turn to anger and aggression. That is not ok with me. So my husband and I came up with “Electronics Free Month”.
Electronics Free Month
That’s right. A whole month, 30 days of no phone, iPad, Kindle, computer. We tried it this summer and it went so well we did it another month. It wasn’t perfect and we definitely learned a few ways to make it work in the future. But I wanted to let you know that it is possible and you won’t be miserable and your kids won’t be miserable.
I do believe that one way this worked out well for our family was that it was summer break and we have the most amazing weather and we live in the forest so there’s lots to do. Keeping our kids active with activities other than phone use was key. You can get your very own “If You’re Bored” activity list by signing up for emails below.
Also there is a little bit of a “detox” period when your kids will ask for electronics and will be very upset about the fact that their parents are not giving in. But stay strong. You can do this! It is possible to have electronics free kids.
Here are my 8 tips on how to go electronics free for a month.
8 Tips for Electronics Free Month
1. Talk to your kids
You need to help the kids feel like they are a part of this process. Explain why electronic usage has become a problem and why this is the solution.
2. Make a timeline of events the kids can see and understand
Decide when you are starting. Is it on the 1st of the month and you end on the 30th/31st? Or you can make a countdown graphic of 30 days. Whatever works for your family.
3. Be patient with kids asking non stop for electronics.
It will be tough but stay strong and eventually your kids will realize you’re serious and there is life beyond electronics.
4. Have other activities ready.
Some suggestions are, board games, books, legos, other building toys. Maybe even buy something new that’s special to your child so they can be excited to have it and entertain themselves..
5. Let your kids know how great they’re doing.
Let them know you see them and are proud of them.
6. Remind them of other activities (have a printable).
It could be a chore chart, activity chart, or combination of both. People lived without electronics before, we can do it again.
7. Make sure your partner/other parent is on board.
This is a team effort. Make sure both parents are on board and both need to be strong and don’t give in!
8. Stay flexible.
There may be extreme circumstances or unforeseen circumstances that you will absolutely have to let your child use an electronic device. That’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Do what you need to do to get through the situation. Personally I had some events coming up that I knew would be difficult for C and I was ready to give in and let him stay on his kindle or phone. But you know what? It never came to that. He was able to entertain himself and do an amazing job of regulating himself in the situation and had a great time. Our kids are amazing and they can surprise us.
There you have it mama. Can you add any more tips? Have you tried going electronics free? For a month? A week? How did it go? I would love to hear from you.
Remember mama, you got this!
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