Today, I turned off the television, and the DS and the Xbox and the Kindles, the iPhone and the computer. (Not all day, let’s not get crazy). But I noticed these had become the preferred choice of leisure, even on a day with trees blossoming and sixty-eight degrees. After turning off machines only to find them turned back on again by a different child, I declared the next day to be screen-free (during home hours not including homework). There were the predicable bargains, groans and complaints.
Then everyone went outside.
At first, there was a listless “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do…” complaints, followed by the obligatory let’s take everything out of the garage, skates, kites, bikes, balls, bats, skateboards, jump ropes, bubbles, waterguns, Frisbees, scooters, wagons, hula hoops and then declare, “We’ve done it all.”
I brought out ice cream in cups. They sat together atop the plastic play house eating ice cream, doing nothing. By the time they’d finished their treat, someone proposed tag and all the toys lay abandoned, as sure enough, the 11, 9, 8, 6, 4 and 13 year old played for a good hour before Mom required they stow the gear and come in for homework.
Being unable to be distracted, my children rediscovered the joy of each other’s company to the point of not being concerned with time, only the ongoing of the game and each other’s presence.
So my small success this week,was to get the idea to turn off the machines. We’ll see if I can remember to do it again next week. Have a great week full of small successes!
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Copyright 2015 Sherry Antonetti