O.K., I confess. We engineered a little tweak to our Screen-Free Week from the beginning.
Instead of starting Monday morning, we opted to go Sunday to Sunday for one reason: our Bedroom Date.
This winter, my husband and I discovered our kids were old enough to take care of themselves for a few hours while we went upstairs for a “nap.”
As any parent knows, the first several years raising kids is rough. You can’t leave the house together without wrangling a grandparent or hiring a babysitter, and the cost of child care added to the price of a meal and maybe a movie is a big disincentive for date nights.
My husband and I also realized that even if we were lucky enough to find a sitter, let alone splurge on one, we usually only had enough energy for dinner. There have been more than a couple nights we killed time when all we really wanted was to come home and relax. Just the two of us.
Enter the Bedroom Date.
One Sunday after church we announced our plan to take a nap and asked the kids not to disturb us unless it was an emergency. It worked!
The kids loved the freedom and independence as much as we did, and it’s great training for the future when our son will be babysitting his little sister for real.
Ever since that first Bedroom Date, we jealously guard our Sunday afternoons and have a pact not to make other plans. Even if we’re not in the mood, we still go upstairs and work through it.
The problem is, media is a big part of the afternoon fun for our kids. If we made them go screen-free, they’d be knocking on our door within five minutes!
So when it came time to commit to the Screen-Free Week challenge, Sunday afternoon was non-negotiable.
I don’t even feel guilty about it (O.K., maybe a little) because I think it affects our family in a positive way.
The Bedroom Date has been great for our relationship and we always tell other couples to try it if their children are the right age.
So today, our kids are happy that after a long screen-free week they are able to turn on their games and play undisturbed for a few hours while we get some R&R.
Is this cheating?