Monday, April 20, 2009

Turn Off Week!

Okay, how ironic is it to enter a blog on "turn off week"? Because really, I hope you're not reading this- at least not THIS week! April 20-26th has been designated as "turn off week" to remind families that we really need to be conscious of screen time. What counts as screen time? TV, computer games, WII, email, twitter, facebook- you name it! If it involves a screen of any sort, it counts.
Does this mean you shouldn't check your email or do computer-based homework this week? Our reality is that we rely on our computers for important messages from work or school, and many run their calendars this way, so it's not practical to insist on cold turkey. However, let this be a week where you try to minimize your computer time to actually required interaction, and try NOT to use the computer for entertainment. Pull out a board game or jigsaw puzzle. Grab your helmet and hop on your bike or rollerblades. Take your dog for a walk. Mobilize the family and walk to your favorite local dive for Saturday morning breakfast. 
We need to set the example in our homes that we ENJOY interacting with other humans! Too many kids think play dates mean going over to a friend's house to play video games. Believe it or not, if you turn off the electronics, kids are amazingly creative in their play- BUT, you've got to set the rules.  Screens are not inherently evil or bad, but like everything else in life, they require moderation. Use this week as a springboard towards a more active and interactive lifestyle.
BOTTOM LINE:  Let's use this week to reconnect with our families and friends face to face- not through a screen!  For more information on turn off week, go to 

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