When I was a kid, we spent two weeks at my grandparent’s beach house every summer. It was a simple cottage with painted wooden floors and sheets and blankets that had been in use for decades, and an outdoor shower. We ate outside and played cards and kick the can and explored the shoreline. As we got older, some of my aunts taught me how to weave baskets. We decorated mirrors and lamps with seashells. We learned sailing songs.
We also didn’t have a television, and I have to imagine that the lack of screen time contributed to the exploration we did and the relationships we built with one another in those weeks together.
One of the things Andy mentions is that if we reflect on the best times we’ve had as a family (and, I would think, the best times we’ve had as couples or friends or even as individuals), we will rarely, if ever, mention a screen. The time I got to level 10 while playing Halo… the time we binge-watched Breaking Bad… the time I stayed up later than I should checking my email… These are not the stuff that memories are made of. These are not the stuff that build relationships.
We are not banning screen time in our household, but in listening to this podcast, I did have three takeaways:
— We are going to become more intentional in turning off all our devices for one hour a day, one day a week, and one week a year.
–I’m getting the devices out of the bedroom
–And finally, we are changing a habit that began earlier this summer. The kids are still allowed screen time every day (which is different for us than during the school year), but it has to be after lunch so the day doesn’t start with a screen.
What are your rules when it comes to screens? For yourself or your kids?