Fort Worth, Texas,
08:50 AM

Going media free (part 2)

Breaking it to the crew


The Conklin family see Kim Mangham, M.D., a pediatrician in Keller. The parents and their three children are cutting back on their screen time this summer and mom, Aubrey, will be blogging (yes, we see the irony) about how it’s going on a regular basis throughout the summer.


I had just agreed to write about how our family is going to drastically reduce their screen time over the summer. Now to break it to the kids. I was actually a little nervous about their reactions. After all, I had created three media junkies.

We were at the eye doctor. I was watching all three kids play on their handheld devices. My original plan was to have a big family meeting after dinner and explain the plan. But instead, in the waiting room I simply blurted out, “We are going to go almost totally screen free for the rest of the summer.” I was waiting for the big wails and sobs and yells of protests, but I don’t think they believed me. They sort of chuckled and looked back down at their games. I explained that I had been asked to write about the experience on a regular basis, and we were really going down to one hour a day. Oh buddy. That got their attention.

My middle girl, Morgan, 10 years old, said, “You know, that might be fun, we may learn something.” 

That was about it as far as the family taking it well.

Our youngest, Matthew, 6 years, said, “I don’t want to.”

Our oldest boy, Max, 11 years, said, “What? Wait, what? When? For just this weekend? Are you sure? Mom, this is not going to work. Can I pay for extra time? Can we start in September? What are we gonna DO all summer if we can’t play games?” 

You get the drift, Max is not happy. Like at all. This line of questioning went on for hours. I think I saw him actually go through some of the stages of grief to be honest, especially the denial and bargaining part. Poor guy.

I told the kids my plan is to allow them one hour a day with the option to earn an additional hour a day by doing certain chores and tasks. I figure we can set it up together. Maybe a family trip to Hobby Lobby to buy a fancy chore chart, stickers. You know, all that cool stuff I see on Pinterest, but never actually do.

I decided to give the kids 24 hours to mentally prepare. The two youngest ones want to start now. My oldest, not so much. I know there are going to be special circumstances that may result in the kids getting additional time (I bet Max will be the first to point ALL of them out) and I am not totally sure how this is going to go. I have to admit, I have gone from being completely freaked out by the idea to actually a little curious how our summer is going to change now that we will be a lot less distracted. 

Previous media free stories:


Aubrey Conklin, moved to Texas from Michigan via Chicago almost 10 years ago. She’s been married for 14 years and is the  mom to three kids ages 11,10 and 6.  A huge sports fan who not only loves all things Detroit sports but spends her own free time playing soccer, volleyball and softball.  Aubrey is a part time preschool teacher as well, a volunteer for her kid's school. 

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