Welcome back to another #TogetherThursday! Today we’re going to discuss non screen time….I know you’re on your screen right now….its ok! I promise!
Something that has been increasingly important during our Distance Learning and internet time, as well as staying connected to friends and family near and far is the screen.
I saw a funny, not like, haha funny but one of those like, oh…yeah….funny….meme that said “One of the current guidelines that is DEFINITELY not being followed right now[during Quarantine] are the American Academy Pediatric Guidelines for screentime.” I am, as a professional, gamer and person who has friends across the planet GUILTY of spending countless hours on my screen. As I type this I have been currently staring at my computer/phone since 8am this morning, and it is currently 8pm. The struggle is real friends. So now that I’ve set this up, what are we to do to model good habits for our DHH children? How can we set up boundaries, starting young and supporting them throughout the years especially during these tough times?
Here are some thoughts:
- For our youngest friends:
When its tummy time and crawling time, try starting once or twice a day to be “fully present” with your child on the floor for 5-10 minutes. Silence your cell phone. Turn off the notifications. Turn down the music/TV and all background noise and just, be on the floor with your infant/toddler. See what they see, crawl around, explore. Set a time if you have to and maybe expand it over time. Add an activity like reading and playing but make sure everything is off before you begin so you and your baby aren’t distracted by pings and alarms until its over.
- For elementary age friends:
Pick a new exciting project at home, crafts are amazing, String, tape, empty toilet paper rolls and suddenly you’ve got decorations for a fancy dinner party that you can paint. Or a tall tall tower, or a hot wheel car garage. I literally spent forty minutes today with a family playing with tape, making faces, making mustaches,bracelets,extra eyebrows(extra bonus points for washi tape that comes in fun colors).
- For middle school friends:
Something challenging that is disconnected but low key cool, Water colors, sticker making/collecting, letter writing, calligraphy, origami. You can find instruction books(instead of the youtubes) for all kinds of niche projects in older family members or friends homes or yard sales because everyone wanted to learn how to do that and then once you know how you can be super impressive to your friends when you know how to do these cool things later.
- For High School friends:
Something meaningful that will take challenge and skil but can also be valuable as a skill: Making their own shirt, learning how to sew, needlepoint, crochet, quilting, acrylic painting, sketching things out the window/still life. Maybe a relative can teach your child over Zoom to get started and then they can get disconnected and do it on their own without the screen and make it even more meaningful.
What is important is that you and your child get creative and do things together and maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new, even if its for little bits of time during the day.
Share what your favorite non-screen downtime activity is below!
We can, Together,