Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The E-free Challenge

One of the authors at Before Our Time posted about an E-free week. Challenging the kids (with the enticement of a reward) to go one full week without electronic entertainments of any kind. No video games, no PC games, TV, DVDs, etc.

While it is a frightening prospect for me to consider shelving the Pixel Nanny, of whom I am very fond, we were game to wade into the e-free pool. Notice I said wade, not dive in from the 10 meter platform. So we have implemented two e-free days into our week. Wednesday and Thursday will be electronic entertainment free... permanently. No TV, no Wii, no PC (other than at work for the grownups) for every family member, adults included.

We started this last week and really, really enjoyed it. Instead of watching iCarly or Drake and Josh on Nickelodeon, J.T. read in his room and Abby made a colossal mess sorting through her numerous toys, dolls, etc. Our outdoor time doubled and the kids helped me (for two minutes at least) in our vegetable garden and splashed under the sprinkler. We interacted more, got more done, and were less cranky (them) and snappish (me).

Much to my surprise, Rob and I got more of the household nitty gritty done than we usually do while employing the Pixel Nanny! Less noise to distract easily distractable me and more helpers to put away laundry, unload the dishwasher and pick up toys. J.T. really pitched in to help while his sister.... not so much. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be and the kids were pretty cooperative.

Are you up for the challenge? Do you already have e-free days?


3 Peas in a Pod said...

I love the idea Melinda! I just deactivated my Facebook account today. It's a small step, but it's a start. The tv is off right now and the boys are playing using their imagination. I don't know whether I can do without my hour of tv in bed at night. It helps me unwind and it's completely "my time". I'll have to give some serious thought regarding this task. :-)

I love the way you write!

Much love from NJ,

Mary said...

I am going to give this serious thought - every Tuesday night at Will's school is tech free and it would be a good idea if Joe and Margot joined him in that.

Oh and me - that's where it might get tricky!

rhubarbwhine said...

Melinda - will you keep it as a regular 'thing' ?

Precious Pink Pumps said...

this is such a cool idea. I am up for the challenge. I wonder what Lucio will say.
We actually have limited his XBox time to 45 minutes only on Saturday and then another 45 minutes on Sunday. He can earn extra minutes for completing some tasks, so he often ends up with about an hour each day - but only on the weekends. Weekdays are totally XBox free. Aria is not in to XBox or computer yet...but she is fond of her cable TV.
I love that you all did more things together and spent more time outdoors - what did we do in the 70s???

Stomper Girl said...

As soon as you said you got more help with the chores I wanted to sign up!

I have to ban myself from the computer if I need to get stuff done.

3 Peas in a Pod said...

I must confess I activated my Facebook again. Didn't last long, I know. This is the way only way I communicate with some of my friends. I'll have to opt for a tech free day instead.... :-)

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