Do you ever feel like you are too connected? Surrounded by too much technology? Tech Timeout is about taking a break from all the devices that can consume our day.
The Tech TimeoutTM challenge started by ForestersTM encourages families to take a daily break from technology. Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.
Summer is coming to an end, and although school is back in session, there is still plenty of beautiful weather to enjoy here in the New England area. I was more than happy to take on the Tech Timeout challenge: 1 hour a day without technology.
Here are some of the ways we spent during our Tech Timeouts this past weekend:
This was my 1st grader’s first day back to school. Right after breakfast, I took my 3 year old out on her bike and we did some crafts. It was nice to have uninterrupted time and getting in biking time, because I know soon enough we won’t be able to (because of cold weather).
After school, we had a little picnic with snacks outside while we talked about my older daughter’s first day of school. She comes home tired, so this was a nice way to connect in a low-key way (without her plopping down in front of the TV).
Over the summer, we made it a goal to visit a lot of new playgrounds. We decided to add be spontaneous and another playground to our list, and the kids were very happy! They are still talking about the new playground.
We also made sure to read a lot of books before bedtime, because often bedtime sneaks up on us and it is too rushed to really sit down and read.
We went to an orchard to take advantage of beautiful fall weather and apple picking. This won’t be one of those years where we end up too busy and miss out on apple-picking, which is a highlight of the fall here in New England!
I had my 6 year old help me pack her school lunch. I usually do this on my own, but I thought I would take advantage of spending quality time with her, so we put together her lunch box together, which made us both happy – it made it into a project we both participated in.
So how did it go?
We really enjoyed our Tech Timeout. I will say, the first Timeout was a little difficult, but it was pretty easy after the first time out. I have an iPhone, and it is so easy to check it frequently. I felt a little anxiety at first that I was going to miss something, but then I realized how fast the hour goes, and things can wait. If there is some kind of emergency, I can be reached on my cell phone, but otherwise, there is nothing so urgent or important that I can’t give my family my undivided attention.
The kids loved having my undivided attention, without any distractions. This includes any background noise from music or TV, even if we are in another room. I really enjoyed this quiet time together.
I think for me, the biggest benefit to doing a Tech Timeout is that I realized how fast time can go, and it is really easy to lose track of time as far as how much time I spend on the computer or iPhone.
As a result of the TechTimeout, I have a few goals:
~ Organize time better, and limit using computer or iPhone to certain parts of the day. For instance, my goal will be to finish up computer projects in the mornings when both kids are in school, and then at night when the kids are in bed. (Although I am a stay-at-home mom, my 3 year old goes to preschool 3 mornings a week).
~ If the weather is nice, we get outside. Here in New York, winters are long. Too long. I don’t want to ever feel like we missed out on getting outside because mommy was too busy working on the computer or the kids were too wrapped up watching TV or using apps.
~ I am going to make it more of a practice to involve the kids in things like packing lunches or helping me in the garden. There is no reason we can’t all do activities like this together, instead of the kids sitting around while I do other things.
~ I think another key message is: use time while you have it. When the weather is good, I’m going to take the kids out on their bikes, to the park, to the playground, etc. Because soon we won’t be able to ride bikes or go for a hike, with wintertime coming. In the winter, we are going to get out there and build snow forts and go sledding and snowshoeing – because soon enough, those opportunities are gone.
~ Keep track of how much technology the kids use. This may involve an app timer or a regular kitchen timer!
Tech Timeout was a success for us! We connected more, and made more of an effort to enjoy uninterrupted quality time. I personally felt I could relax and be more spontaneous too!
Here are some of the few things you can begin to do when you aren’t distracted by technology:
So do you think you could take the challenge?
Visit Tech Timeout online at http://techtimeout.com/.
You can also follow them on Facebook.
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post – all opinions are my own.
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