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Tips for Going Screen-Free with Your Family

Too much time on Facebook or Instagram – or too many hours in front of the television? Here are some ways to get unplug with the family.

It's difficult to unplug from television, smartphones and social media, but during the annual Screen-Free Week, many families take the challenge – just like three southeast Michigan families did for Metro Parent's May issue. Want to take the challenge with your kids? Here are five tips to help you get started. Plus, visit ScreenFree.org for information, ideas, motivation and resources like pledge cards and certificates of achievement.

1. Make it official. Sign pledge cards to kick off your week. Declare what you're giving up and what you plan to do instead of spending time with screens.

2. Tell everyone. Share your plan with friends and family and encourage them to go screen free with you.

3. Plan ahead. Work with your children to come up with alternate activities to fill your week. Stock up on art supplies. Hit the library for a stack of books. Gather board games, puzzles, crafts, sports gear and ingredients for recipes you can cook together. Schedule visits with friends and relatives or check out local attractions like the Detroit Zoo, Detroit Kid City in Southfield or the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

4. Celebrate success. Keep a log of your experience, how you felt and all the fun activities you did during the week so you can look back on the benefits of being screen-free.

5. Make it last. Find ways to build screen-free time into your family life even after the challenge is over, and stay mindful of what you learned.

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