Turnoff Week starts, uh, today! Some thoughts and resources.
How did I let Turnoff Week sneak up on me like this? And does anyone else find it funny (in a sad way) that it's no longer called "TV Turnoff Week" because there are so many more things to turn off?
I fully support the idea of Turnoff Week, and yet we've never followed through with a week of no screens. Why? In general, I feel ok about it -- my kids have a collective hour of screen time per day (30 minutes each of TV, video games, and/or computer play) which I consider to be just fine in terms of balance and health. We are also a highly-Netified family, so family discussions are often followed up by Google searches or visits to YouTube.
But when I look at it more closely (and I'm honest with myself), the idea of completely disconnecting the electronic entertainment for a week makes me nervous. I could care less about watching TV, but my kids are very attached to that daily episode of Cyberchase, and I find myself anxious about the consequences of taking it away, even temporarily. So while I could look the other way, I have to admit that my kids aren't the only ones with an unhealthy attachment to screen time.
For those of you looking for a little support, the Tessy & Tab Reading Club has a great Turnoff Week resource site up for parents of preschoolers, complete with charts, ideas, and printables. This would also be a great week to visit my favorite easy craft sources, FamilyFun and Kids Craft Weekly. Take a troll through the Parent Hacks archives for good ideas. Finally, don't be afraid to expose your kids to a little boredom. It's the best motivator for creativity there ever was.