We did it. We survived a week without screens—more or less. The week before school began, our household—consisting of two adults, one fourteen-year-old male, one eleven-year-old female and a small assortment of pets—gave up screens for the week. We followed the rules as set forth in the previous blog post. Two exceptions were granted toward the end of the week for a little all-family TV-viewing time. (It was hot, we were tired.) The kids did great.
The adults, not so much.
It’s amazing how much screen time one can squeeze out of a “work” exception. Also, what if an important email comes in? Also, what if Trump finds a way to start a war with some country before the election even happens and I don’t know about it because it’s screen-free week? Also, the fact that I’m carrying my phone around the house means nothing; I’m not looking at it or anything. See? It’s just a prop.
Pathetic. And I mean me.
I wasn’t a complete failure the whole week. I did spend less time on screens than usual—including on my phone. But. If I’m being honest, the phone was attached to my hand like a security blanket, and I checked emails surely more than was necessary. I don’t know who was more surprised that the member of the family who had the toughest time with screen-free week this year was me: me or my kids. It wasn’t my proudest week.
I’d like to blame my excess on the election, of course. As a onetime policy and political type, I can’t take my eyes away from the wreck that is 2016. About a month ago, I even felt the need to talk with “Emmie” about how much time I’d been spending on Twitter in order to follow election coverage.
“It’s because you can talk to people there who think like you do,” she said.
Smart kid, huh? Even so, it’s kind of lame that my kids were stronger than me when it came to putting down the devices for a short period of time.
So. We all learned something during screen-free week 2016. Mostly that Mom has to be carefully watched during screen-free week 2017.