It was somewhat painful and a little bit confronting, but here at RDM HQ we’ve each made pledges to reduce screen time for our family for the month of October. We’ve already started and we’re documenting our progress – stay tuned!
Luckily Kinderling are offering a huge carrot. They’re giving away five holiday weekends, including a $600 Stayz accom voucher and a Volvo to borrow for the three-day trip! UH-MAZING. Check out the challenge details here.
In case you don’t already know, Kinderling is a family-friendly kids radio for children and their grown-ups and it’s truly awesome. Have a listen!
Ok onto our pledges:
Q. How long do I have to do this for? A. Too long.. In all seriousness, I think I do have a screen addiction and so, for this challenge, it’s all about baby steps. I pledge to put my phone down when I’m talking to the kids, to be more present at the park and swimming lessons and not post any pics of my kids on social media for the duration of the experiment!
Our household has the following ‘screens’ between us;
- 2 x iPhones
- 2 x iPads
- 1 x laptop (plus 1 x work laptop)
- 2 x TVs
- 2 x tablets (for the kids)
- 1 x kindle
Just doing that quick audit is a bit scary! I daren’t calculate, properly, the amount of time the four of us spend staring at a screen (I’m sure it’ll be a staggering figure for me and my husband). But I am concerned the impact it might be having on our relationships now and in the longer term. I also think we’ve gotten into some bad habits.
So my family’s screen challenge goals are; no tv for the children in the morning during the week; one hour max for the children per day during the week; me and husband no handheld device or laptop use after 8pm twice a week; no devices during mealtimes; and no devices in bed (excluding kindle).
Instead we will pledge to play with the kids more and talk to each other!
Let’s try this for this month and then see if we can make it a permanent change?!
I used to quite strict about tv – before the age of 1 my big girl probably watched but a few hours in her whole life. The older she’s gotten, and now that my life is busier and more exhausting with 2 kids, the more I find myself putting the tv on. Sometimes it’s so I can get some me time, sometimes it’s so I can get some work done and sometimes there’s no reason. My little one, at 15 months, has watched much more tv than I would have liked (sad face) – lately a couple of hours a week. One half of me thinks I should just throw my teev out but the other half thinks that half is a bozo. TV is definitely a godsend and I am very partial to a little teev myself.. but in spirit of the Kinderling challenge and in the hope of more self lead play, I’m going to set some tv goals and keep you posted on how I go. Here they are:
Reduce tv for my big girls from 7ish hours to 4ish hours per week. Reduce the for my little one from 2ish hours to less than 1 hour per week. Me: Don’t bring my phone to the dinner table (baby steps, I’m a full blown addict)
How: more playdough, cooking, drawing, magnatiles, walking, play dates, music and throwing the ball
For some more great reasons to join us in the Kindling Radio screen free challenge check out these articles:
- How screen time affects young brains – https://www.kinderling.com.au/kinderling-conversation/how-screen-time-impacts-young-brains
- Why Kids need nature play to grow – https://www.kinderling.com.au/kinderling-conversation/why-kids-need-nature-play-to-grow
- How to get your kids talking back in a good way. – https://www.kinderling.com.au/kinderling-conversation/brian-nankervis-from-rockwiz-talks-about-quizzes-humour-and-lively-family-discussions
- How to have great conversations as a family – https://www.kinderling.com.au/kinderling-conversation/how-to-have-great-conversations-as-a-family
- Dr Kirsty Goodwin – Smart screen time tips for families – https://www.kinderling.com.au/kinderling-conversation/kinderling-radio-s-screen-free–challenge