Technology has a hold on me. The idea of disconnecting sounds utterly impossible and unnecessary. On the other hand, the National Day of Unplugging, which begins Friday, March 4 at sundown and concludes Saturday, March 5 at sundown, sounds like a good idea.
Do you ever find yourself checking your cell phone to be sure it is on, because you have not heard it ring with notice of an incoming text or telephone call? Do you spend hours on your iPad or computer surfing the Internet or have your television blaring in the background just for its sound? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then I ask you, does technology have a hold on you too? If so, that is okay, because you are in good company.
Thousands of people across the country (and the world) have already signed the pledge and plan to unplug this weekend. I have plans of unplugging with my family and you can too. After all, it is only 24 hours.
If you are not able to unplug this weekend, then choose your own 24 hour period and make it special with whomever you decide to spend it with enjoying whatever you decide to do.
The following are some ideas of ways you can enjoy the day with your family. Get together and plan your day of the fun activities you will do together.
Read to or with your children
We are a family of readers. My children may opt to turn on their iPads or the television before grabbing a book, but once they find a good read, they are gone and lost forever until they turn the last page.
Bringing the family together for a read-a-loud can also be a lot of fun. We have reading time where I read one book that appeals to a wide-range of ages. On other nights, every child chooses a book, and depending on the length of the book, I read several pages from that book (long chapter books) or the entire book (more elementary level reading).
Cook a meal together
This plugging in is allowed. You ask any mother (at least me) one of their greatest fears and that is cleaning up the mess their children can make in the kitchen. Set your fears aside, hand your child the flour and any other needed ingredients and make something yummy to eat.
Take a walk in your neighborhood or at a neighboring park
The weather has not been too accommodating to this opportunity over the last couple of months. Spend some time making a list of places you would like to visit once it does warm up. The Jackson-Madison County area has so many great locations to visit where you may explore the outdoors. Plan to visit at least one every month this spring and summer.
Play with your children
Offering to play LEGOs (or dolls) is always a winner in my home. If that does not work for you, then try a board game or let your children create a game. One of my favorite games is seeing who can be quiet the longest, which usually does not last very long. Once that is done, let them build forts.
Pull out the art supplies
I think pulling out the paint and other art supplies can also be a little scary. Children are so creative, so let them see where their imaginations will take them. It can be as simple as crayons and paper to letting them use everything inside of the arts and crafts closet. You may also keep the mess low-key by using play dough. That is fun for all ages (mommy and daddy too) and also another fun tool that stirs creativity and leaves minimal mess.
Sit down and eat all of your meals together and stir up some good conversation. According to the Family Dinner Project, some specific benefits of eating together as a family include: “better academic performance, higher self-esteem, greater sense of resilience, lower risk of substance abuse, lower risk of teen pregnancy, lower risk of depression, lower likelihood of developing eating disorders and lower rates of obesity.”
It is only 24 hours and that is time you can put towards connecting with your family, enjoying a forgotten hobby, reading a good book or spending time outdoors.
How do you enjoy your unplugged time together as a family?
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©2015-2016 Kid Madison. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher http://kidmadison.com/.
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