Fort Worth, Texas,
11
July
2014
|
05:24 PM
America/Chicago

Going media free

'We're going to try it'

Summary

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.

My family consists of five media junkies. I am not even going to pretend we aren't. When our kid’s pediatrician, Dr. Kim Mangham, called to ask me about blogging about media this summer, I couldn't hear her because our TV was too loud.

I thought we had it under control. My family is very active. The kids play sports and swim. We go to different events and activities together all the time. But despite being so active, with all the hand-held games, TVs, computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets and video game consoles, we still manage to cram in A LOT of media time during the day.

The week before Dr. Mangham called, I had taken all my kids (11, 10 and 6) to their annual well check appointment. (Taking all three kids at the same time to their well check was either my most genius or dumbest idea yet. The jury is still out. It was crazy.)

I did give myself props because I remembered to charge everyone’s device of choice before the well check. So while everyone played on their devices, Dr. Mangham discussed with us summer safety and attempted to explain the importance of reducing media time. Dr. Mangham also mentioned that two of her patients’ parents were considering going media free for the summer. I allegedly said something agreeable to this statement and by the next week Dr. Mangham called to ask if I wanted to blog about my attempts to go media free.

I panicked. I didn't mean like really go media free. How would we go screen free? How would my kids talk to their friends? What about FaceTime with the grandparents? Use all those educational apps? What am I going to do if someone calls and I need to talk? Just not turn on the TV to their favorite program? Those Minecraft houses don't build themselves you know! How am I going to tell them? We are flying in July and I have a big meeting tomorrow!! How do you do this? Cold turkey? Reduce but not eliminate? What would we all do if we are not connected to the world?

The more questions I came up with, the more I realized that in our house media is a crutch.

We are going to try it. And our goal? To simply try and find a healthy balance when it comes to our media consumption on a daily basis

I am not sure how our journey is going to play out. Plan A (because plan A always works right?) is to reduce. We will limit our media to one hour a day,  with a chance to EARN up to another hour. Hey, maybe my baseboards will get cleaned this summer!

First things first. I have to break it to the family. Screen time as they know it is about to change!!

Comments 1 - 5 (5)
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jessica hof
11
July
2014
Can't wait to follow your journey! Might need to incorporate this into our household as well.
Ginny
11
July
2014
Go Aubrey! (Wait, will you even see this message? It is on email. Ha ha! ) Good luck to you! Come on over when it gets to be too much!
Liz Baldwin
11
July
2014
This is awesome Aubrey! So proud of you for trying
Margaret
11
July
2014
Good for you! We are trying to do the same thing! My kids went "media free" for a week earlier this summer, and they squabbled less and played together more. They also spent a lot more time drawing, building with Legos, etc. Even though things are truly better without the TV/iPhone, it is easy to slip back into using media as a way to entertain the kids. I'll be excited to get some ideas from you!
Aubrey
13
July
2014
Thank you for all the support!! It is proving to be even trickier than I had anticipated and yes/ soooo very easy to slip back into old habits rather quickly - but we aren't giving up!! Stay tuned :)