Summer time invokes memories of pools, s’mores, strawberry picking, watermelon seed spitting, playing outside and having an overall good time. It is also a time to relax, take a break from school and learning in a different kind of way. There are slower days and less scheduled time but that doesn’t mean we sit around all day on electronics while snacking.
It’s about using your imagination, being creative in your own way by working your brain when you’re bored.
Day ONE of summer break surprised me and also wore me out. It’s crazy how when you go to the pool for three hours on top of your normal activity, it can really change up your energy. While adjusting our habits during the next twelve weeks, we must be intentional about our day. Old habits will start sneaking in becoming necessary to stay aware in order to focus on our long term goal.
Reducing Screen Time Take Willpower
The days are already getting hot which can bring down my defenses. I am sweaty and uncomfortable, meaning it is easier for me to cave. When the incessant whining happens, it is a cue for me to not take the easy route and stay strong. This is a perfect moment to remember the reason we decided to do this by creating good habits.
The words “I’m bored” have made their appearance a time or two to which I reply, “Hi Bored.” They all are so used to a constant stream of attention that their go to reaction is to find an activity that requires a buddy, i.e. Mom.
As we cannonball into summer vacation, we have been able to find lots of activities to do. But is this something I will be able to keep up with all summer? Who knows? I am both curious and a little scared of what will happen on the days when we are home and no craft or game is good enough for them.
What will happen when it’s raining or when someone is sick in perfect vegging out weather? These are the days when my willpower must be strong, so I don’t give into the temptress of electronics.
Setting A Good Example For The Kids
The kids turn to their devices the same way I go to mine. The constant checking and being plugged in has become a mindless activity of comfort that fills the void of silence. Our ego tells our brain that it is too quiet forcing us to find a distraction.
Recently, I went into the laundry room where I noticed the two computer mice and upstairs TV remote were nestled snug in their hiding place. I chuckled because they have not moved since the day we started limiting electronics. This may be in part because during the times when I did allow devices, I set parameters.
Some days, I would become so overwhelmed by the noise coming from all the electronics that I would feel like screaming. On many occasions, I would find that not only were they on their tablets, but also a TV and computer would be running as background noise. I could not communicate with them because they were so in the zone, let alone hear my own thoughts.
When it came time to allow electronics, I said they could pick one device to use. They were able to choose their own and ironically they decided to all watch a movie together. If left to their own defenses they normally would go off into separate areas. Instead, they snuggled all together like a pack of puppies on the couch.
By no means have I gotten a perfect system down but that’s okay. We are figuring out what works for our family. For now, they have reduced the amount of time on electronics, made creations together, and have spent more time outside. The big win for me is that I haven’t given into them when they said they were bored.