Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. So in an effort to subdue the techno beast that resides in every member of our family, we have started what we call "unplugged Sundays." That means on Sundays no one (mom and dad included) uses any form of electronics. No texting, no emails, no computer, no TV, nothing. I'll be the first to confess that my kids loathe it. They complain, protest, and try to bargain. We get the typical barrage of "it's not fair!", "why can't we?", and "just ten minutes?" But I've discovered that by holding my ground they eventually cease fire and then the most amazing thing happens: they find something to do! Before long the whole family is playing Frisbee, washing the car, walking the dog, or just reading. Sometimes we all do our own thing. Best of all: there's no background noise. It is a sweet reprieve from a culture that is too loud and too busy.
I confess that I need this for my own benefit as much as my children do. I have the tendency to think, " we've been together all week; I'm their teacher after all!" If we're honest with ourselves, we know in our hearts that engaging for academics is not the same as engaging for enjoyment. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that play time together actually makes school time easier. We need time to connect with their hearts, not just their heads.
I'd like to close by sharing a few thoughts about our unplugged day. First of all, we are not legalistic about it. Occasionally, my husband likes to catch a ball game so we make an exception. Last night I drifted off to sleep as the whole crew was cheering on the Spurs in the NBA playoffs. Second, we chose Sundays because that's the day we worship and then spend in rest. Any day will work; just pick one and do it consistently! I've read of families that go unplugged for a full week, a whole month, or even an entire summer. Last of all, mom and dad should do this as a team and lead by example. Resist the temptation to sneak into the bathroom and check Face Book, emails or texts. it's equally as important to engage as it is to unplug!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this! Have you tried something similar? Do you have an ideas?
Leave a comment below.