Fair   82.0F  |  Forecast »

Screen-Free Week, Day 6: We Caved, But Here's Why ...

OMG. I caved. I didn’t think my family would fail at Screen-Free Week, but it happened.

I turned on Frozen for my daughter yesterday.

However, let me explain.

My 5-year-old stayed home from school for the second day in a row, and it turns out she was sicker than we could have imagined. She’s been under the weather on and off for sometime and a misdiagnosis led to a severe and rare allergic reaction to a medication that left her covered in a painfully itchy rash.

We got through most of the day screen-free. She napped, and we cuddled and picked up where we left off in her fairy tale book. But she was just too weak to do anything else I suggested to keep her busy, like coloring, sorting our puzzle, or even her favorite thing ever, baking a cake.

She’s not old enough to get lost in a chapter book, so the temptation to turn on a show began to creep in.

I didn’t take the decision lightly, but put it off like a dieter avoiding a tempting snack.

No. 1: I knew I would have to publicly declare our family’s failure in this blog. No. 2: Where would it stop? Would we just scrap the whole challenge and break our digital fast completely? No. 3: The most daunting issue was explaining the transgression to our 8-year-old son. He’s been absolutely opposed to going screen-free all along. How could I justify letting his sister watch a movie, but keep him from playing his treasured Friday night video games and watching the shows he loves to share with his dad?

But in the end, Screen-Free Week started to seem like a punishment. Here’s my husband’s take on it (which he texted via screen, of course):

“This is about seeing how pervasive screens are in our life. If we make this concession on account of our daughter being exceptionally sick, I am fine with that,” he wrote.

Finally, after her second oatmeal bath and a fresh round of medicine, I tucked her into our bed and flipped the switch.

And you know what? I don’t regret it.

It kept her mind off her itching until her brother got off the bus. And although our son was outraged at first (he kicked a pillow across the room), he’s old enough to understand the spirit vs. the letter of the law.

And the best news is, we didn’t abandon the challenge altogether! The screen time ended with the movie credits, and we spent the rest of Friday night offline. Verick had his friend over again and they played Clue, piano and guns, and ate pizza and ice cream. After that, he and his dad finished a long-standing LEGO chess game (albeit using an iPhone timer to move things along).

We’re going to spend the rest of the weekend Screen-Free, that is until late Sunday afternoon, which has been non-negotiable from the start.

Find out why Sunday screen-time is essential to my marriage in tomorrow’s blog!

In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful day!

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Michigan Education Improves, Poverty Grows, Kids Count Says

Michigan Education Improves, Poverty Grows, Kids Count Says

The 2014 Annie E. Casey Foundation study finds promising trends for preschool attendance and high-school graduation, but notes struggles with child poverty.

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Is your garden overflowing with this vegetable? Try making cheesy zucchini bites, zucchini fries or any of these recipes.

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Looking for an easy, compact way to tote those summer necessities? You're in luck! This simple sewing project makes carting your fabric accessories a breeze.

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

After only one night in, Romanian socialite Monica Gabor took her adopted son back to the orphanage because the child was too distressed.

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement