It has been 18 days since we started the 30 Day No Screen Time Challenge… and everyone is still alive! We’ve had our ups and downs, but so far, things seem to be going well.
No Screen Time Challenge Update
How are the girls handling it?
At first, it was difficult for both of them. There were constant whines for screens or just 30 minutes of TV, but those complaints died out as the days drew on. By day 5, they were both holding steady, relearning how to do puzzles and falling in love with their Legos again. Fast forward to today and things are even better. While they still ask for TV, it seems to be almost off-handedly, like a casual request they have little real interest in.
This alone has been surprising. I was certain that we would implode by day 10, with wails ricocheting off the walls (mine, not theirs) and tears flowing like waterfalls. Yet it seems that eliminating the temptation – AND STICKING TO IT – has been life altering. The girls are getting along better, with fewer fights and fewer bruises. They are playing more, both together and independently – and with us.
My youngest, who really inspired this adventure, has settled a wee bit. (A very wee bit…) Mellowing from furious four-year-old into a slightly less ferocious four-year-old. Maybe it’s a phase, maybe it’s the novelty of the change, or maybe this is really working. While I harped on educational programming for my girls prior to cutting the cord, they still indulged in plenty of fast-paced cartoons and shows, the kind this article from Pediatrics AAP references as showing an immediate effect on executive function, like self-control in a 4-year-old.
How are we handling it?
Honestly, I don’t really now if this challenge has been harder on the girls, or on their father and I. We have had to learn new ways to spend the day and new ways to pay attention. My husband works nights, sleeping the bulk of the day away in order to be able to function at his demanding job. His absence during these pivotal – and kid filled – hours has been the norm in our household for years, yet now those hours are a bit different. They are both louder and quieter, more adventure filled and often a touch more boring. We’re reading more, arguing occasionally and generally just learning to rewind ourselves and figure out how to be a screen-free family.
While we still have 12 days left in this initial challenge period, I’ve been mulling over the days and months that will follow. We WILL have screens, that is just reality speaking and an honest mother knowing that she won’t adhere to such strict guidelines forever. Yet those screens will be limited, with minimal access. Seeing the results of just 18 days screen free has inspired me and changed my thinking – for the better.
Want to know how we started this? Read my previous post on the 30 Day No Screen Challenge!