Thursday, March 1, 2012

Did we survive our screen-free week?

YES! We more than survived...we THRIVED. :) Okay, so I ended up needing to check my e-mail more than once a day for business purposes and there was a day when I had a meeting to attend and Brighton was sick so I let the older kids watch a show with him while they babysat, but other than that, we did pretty darn good at not using any type of screen! And, per my last post, my kids just so rock! There was hardly any complaining, other than from the 3 year old, and everyone was able to maintain their awesome attitude all week.

We learned many things. My big boys spent hour upon hour drawing and writing (with actual pens and paper!) Fiona spent even more time than usual sitting at the piano and developing her musical talents. The two little girls played for hours on end in their room. I came up with new and innovative ideas to help entertain my poor, media obsessed pre-schooler who was concerned that maybe he could not survive without his beloved buddy, Diego. Brighton actually dealt with it pretty well when I would remind him that we weren't watching any shows for the week...there were only a few, brief fits before he found cool things to play with.

More than anything, I learned that MOM (yup, that's me...) spending too much time in front of the computer can lead to the following: impatience, frustration, and ultimately a less peaceful home. It's amazing how disconnecting myself from the screen and being available at all times makes such a difference! I found that, instead of going over to the computer for "just a few minutes" to check my e-mail or whatever, if I went and sat on the couch with no purpose in particular, suddenly sweet little children were clamoring to be by my side. :) Then older, bigger kids would follow my lead and just sit for a moment...which would lead to conversation amongst whomever was near. It was a truly beautiful testament to the value of being open and available! And what a confirming lesson in the reality that having any type of screen in front you means you are NOT open and, even though you may think you are, you are not really available to your children and to life in general.

So how have our lives changed since that week? My big boys are still spending hours every day drawing and writing (with actual pens and paper!) in addition to their drawing and writing on the computer. Now I have children who argue about their turn to play on the piano, instead of just arguing about the Ipad or computer. we added new arguing? Oh well, it's for a good cause, so I'm fine with it. :) More than anything, I learned how important it is for me as The Mom to not take the easy way out and not turn to the computer for a distraction here and there through out the day. When I find myself starting to head in that direction, I purposefully chose to turn away and engage in my actual life, as opposed to my virtual one....I choose my children and our relationship...I choose my inner peace...I choose to, for the most part, be a more active participant in reality and just "be" rather than trying to escape.

As an added bonus, I have learned that I use the words "really" and "just" way too often. Just from this post alone, I have deleted approximately 9 "just"'s...but really, I don't think you can just avoid their use...I really just like those words!

And, oh my heck, another bonus! I actually spelled the word "approximately" correctly all by myself with no spell check correcting neccessary!! As a hopelessly horrible speller, I really just feel good about that! :)