I want to play a game with you!
Did you ever dare a friend to do something? Remember when we were kids, that was one of the most common games to play, “I dare you to….” Then we would add some silly task, everyone would laugh, or you would get branded as a chicken for the rest of recess.
I DARE you, no I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU (ha! I haven’t said that since I was a kid) to unplug your children (and yourself!) from electronics for just 5 days! No smart phones, no TV’s, no Kindles, I – anything’s, Play stations, Wii’s , none of it. And no cheating either. Go Big or Go home!
Yup, you heard me! I am DOUBLE DOG DARING you, I mean YOU!, to shut down your devices and PLAY. (except if you have honest to gosh work, or your kids use computers for homeschooling purposes. If you are using devices for truly important reasons, limit use strictly for those purposes, no games or Face Book scrolling afterward!) Turn the internet off on your phone, that way you can receive calls & texts, just not Face Book messages or other social media distractions.
Ever heard the saying, “Monkey See Monkey Do” ? In order for your kids to realize that the world is not going to stop spinning if they lose their devices for 5 days, you need to set a good example. Be a good sport, a team player, a role model and most importantly, not a chicken!
Are you panicking yet? Well don’t go yet, I will explain to you why this is the most important dare you have ever accomplished and why you don’t want to be the “chicken” this round! You can survive without depending on your devices to entertain your kids! I promise!
Crazy Fact #1
“Studies prove that children who have rich early learning experiences are better prepared to thrive in kindergarten and beyond!” -1
Some families abuse this technology to distract their children rather than using as a learning tool. Some use it as a babysitter rather than an opportunity to learn. We all love those flashy preschool apps that can be downloaded for free and sure, they have their purpose. We all do it – hand the kids our phone while in a long check out line, or while we have our hands full in the kitchen. I’m not sure I would go so far as to call them a “rich learning experience” though. Not when the tech is being used to provide relief to the parent. Should we use them any further than for an occasional distraction? Should we allow our little ones to watch Baby TV 3 hours a day? Or spend hundreds of dollars on iPad or iPod toys or toilets for babies? No, no way! Tech can be an invaluable learning opportunity, it can be a rewarding enriching experience when the parent is monitoring or better yet when the parent is right there with their child. Except for in the case of the i-potty chair..that is a step to far for me! There is a crucial difference between those who abuse and those who use it with a purpose.
What I am daring you to do is not going to cost you a penny, (in fact your power company may call wondering why your meter isn’t moving!) and who knows, your older kids might very well realize that they like walking to a friend’s house instead of calling! Your younger ones may find that 10 rounds of hide and seek is better than mom‘s phone! Maybe you will see benefits other places as well! Maybe your child will discover something they never knew they were interested in!
Crazy Fact #2
Did you know that if you spent even just 30 minutes a day playing a board game with your child instead of 30 minutes of TV, you are saving them from potentially seeing 8,000 screen murders? Geesh! That’s scary! So, what have you got to lose? You can only gain!
You do not have to throw away these things, just put them away for 5 days. Lock them in a closet if you have to! You do not have to cancel your television subscription (unless you want to!), just unplug it. (If you’re really worried about missing your favorite TV show, unplug your DVR, if you have one, from the TV, but leave the DVR plugged in to a power source and have it set to record.) … in the closet of course! Ha!
You may be thinking…
What can I do with my kids to keep them busy? Well I have a heap of ideas for you, check out just a few of my articles here to get inspired and then get to it! Maybe all those cute crafts you’ve got pinned but haven’t found time to do? Maybe tutor one of your kids in a subject they are struggling with? Maybe take a walk every single day after dinner instead of TV? Local YMCA? I could go on all day!
But I won’t …. 🙂
School work, home work, testing, repeat! 5 days a week – this is what kids do? For millions, this is the case. Electronics are great but our kids should really be encouraged to go get dirty sometimes! Have some good old-fashioned one–on–one time and most importantly…FUN!
Crazy Fact #3
Eileen Walsh, (RN, MPH California Childcare Health Program) says:
Spending too much time with electronic media can be an isolating experience, with a negative impact on the development of social skills. -4
I’m a mom of three girls, I home school and I also babysit two preschool age children. If I can keep them all happy without relying completely on electronics, so can you! I can promise you, YOU CAN DO THIS! I’m here, I’m rooting for you! I want you to succeed! And I definitely want to hear about it! Don’t want to go it alone? Grab a friend and have their family take the dare too!
Leave a comment when you plan to begin, then come back after the 5 days is up and tell me all about it! Pictures are awesome too! Share with me how you entertained your little ones for hours on end and survived without electronics.
You have OFFICIALLY been DOUBLE DOG DARED to survive without electronics, with your children, for 5 straight days! Do you ACCEPT? Ha! Let me know in the comments!
Oh ya, didn’t I mention? My family is doing the DARE too! Yup! Starting this Friday at high noon mountain time until Wednesday high noon, I hereby ACCEPT my own challenge to unplug myself & my children from electronic devices for 5 straight days! I will do all of the above and share when we plug back in how we survived! Better follow this one! I hope when I come back I see lot’s of comments!
Good Luck! – Trish Ann
National Center for Education Statistics. (December 2010). Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort, Longitudinal 9-month–Kindergarten Restricted-Use Data File. Washington, DC
Eileen Walsh, RN, MPH
(AAP, 2001) American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Public Education (2001). Children, Adolescents, and Television. Pediatrics
ipotty picture from Amazon