Dad Limits Devices, Finds Family Time Priceless

What happens when kids give up tv, movies and game devices for 48 hours? One dad wanted to find out. So he promised his two daughters, ages 3 and 5, that if they put down the screens for 2 days, they would all do fun things together. After an initial discussion period (i.e., tantrums), the girls and Dad were off on an outing.

The first stop was the water park, where both Dad and kids totally enjoyed swimming, splashing and water gun fights. Dad noted that not only did the girls have a great time, he had one, too. He felt like a kid again, and back in the days when he played happily outside all day, pre-game console. Dad also observed that the girls later conked out and took their naps like troopers.

The next project was making cookies, perfect because all kids like messes and cookies. The girls broke eggs, added ingredients and mixed them around. There was quite a kitchen disaster left, but the girls had the enjoyment of knowing they made something themselves, as well as eating the cookies. Dad was also glad he had the chance to show them that men can cook, too.

Finally, there was an outing to the mall, where the kids found people-watching a very absorbing pastime. As they looked out the big glass window, the world became a fascinating show for them, something they couldn’t experience on tv because it was real life. Dad reflected on how many parents spend a lot of money on birthday parties or trips to theme parks, and kids don’t remember any of it. But he did remember the times he spent with his brothers, just as his daughters were spending time together at the mall.

Experts agree there are good reasons to limit kids’ screen use. Too much technology can lead to sleep problems and obesity, as well as less homework and reading time Dad also reflected that kids grow up too fast, and we should take every opportunity to bond with them while they’re small.

Finally, Dad realized it wasn’t realistic to ban electronics altogether. They can be educational and fun. But there’s no better app than the one called pleasant family time spent together.