Many of us want to enjoy more screen-free family nights at home, but don’t have a clue where to start – especially considering we live in such a technology-driven world. Today, many homes have at least one screen in each and every room. From TV to laptops, to smartphones, Netflix, and the Internet … there are just so many ways for one to be attached (or addicted) to a screen.
Believe it or not, it wasn’t that many years ago that technology played only a minor role in our lives. However, I’m not romanticizing the past – we’ve always needed to safeguard our family time. Making a point to do so just seems to be getting harder and harder in the fast-paced, hurry-up kind of world we live in today.
If your family is used to watching TV or plays on their tablets every night, you are likely to meet some resistance, at least at first. With a little bit of effort, having a successful screen-free family night that everyone looks forward to is indeed possible!
Here are some tips for getting started:
• Start by having a family quiet hour. No screens are allowed during the pre-appointed time frame.
• Then, choose one night a week to be “screen free” night. In our home, it was easier to do this on Sundays at first, since we were already observing a day of rest together.
• Make sure the kids complete schoolwork or homework before the quiet hour or screen-free night begins. If mom or dad work from home, try to finish up projects ahead of time.
• Put smartphones, laptops, tablets, and remotes out of sight to avoid temptation.
• Prepare and enjoy a meal together. It’s a great way to ease into family night.
• Do something special on screen-free family night to get hesitant children, teens, and spouses on board.
• Play board games together, work on a group project, visit family, do crafts, listen to one of our Audio Adventures…the possibilities are endless!
Once your family gets used to having screen-free nights, they will actually look forward to it all week long. They may not want to admit it, but they will.