Tag Archives: Technology

The Benefits of Giving Your Child a Screen Free Week

We just completed another screen free week, something we do at least five or six times a year.

We already have pretty strong boundaries when it comes to screen usage for Little Cat (aged 4), before this week he was only allowed cartoons for up to an hour, usually between 3-5 days a week and always in the afternoon, just after lunch for a bit of quiet time. The cartoons and films he has access to are all things which I am happy for him to watch: No violence or cruelty, respectful attitudes towards children and adults alike, slow paced (with the exception of Octonauts) and/or educational in some way or another.

He doesn’t have use of a tablet or computer, no apps or video games and no access to the internet unless we are specifically looking something up together – For example when he was interested in volcanoes recently we watched several youtube clips of erupting volcanoes and looked up some answers to his questions, before we got a book from the library for him to delve into.

During screen free week we had no screen time whatsoever during the day, myself included. I made an exception during the evening after his bedtime, to have a quick check of my emails to make sure there wasn’t anything urgent, but anything that could wait was left unopened. I also decided to relax the TV rule for the evening as my husband didn’t participate with this screen free week (although he often does,) and we watched one or two programmes together.

My main goal for myself was to have a week off social media, especially facebook which I find can be such a time thief and so addictive. My goal for my son on this occasion was for him to break the habit of asking for TV on autopilot straight after lunch, and to give him more room to rediscover creative ways to entertain himself instead.

As always happens on our screen free weeks, the first day was the hardest, with complaints and negotiations from Little Cat and an afternoon energy slump from me which was a struggle to get through.

Continue reading The Benefits of Giving Your Child a Screen Free Week

What Toys Do Children Really Need?

In a consumer driven world it is easy to see how we can get sucked in to the mindset of having to buy more and more for our children. There is a lot of pressure put on parents to aid their child’s development and challenge their cognitive abilities by purchasing the latest all singing, all dancing “educational” toy. And to top it all off, the advertisers have gone to great lengths to sink their claws directly into our little ones, to entice them into desiring their product and to ask for each and every item.

Though just five minutes before they were doing just fine without it, now it is a matter of life and death that they have this particular toy in their hands. Nothing less will do.

And yet, days, if not hours later, the toys all get forgotten, as the children turn their attention to the new enticing adverts for the things they don’t yet have.

It is a dangerous cycle, sending a strong message of consumerism, greed and waste to the mouldable young minds of our children.

But what should we as parents do? We don’t want to stunt their development and deny them learning opportunities, but it is obvious that this rampant consumerism is not working for either parent or child. The children complain that they have nothing to play with whilst surrounded by a room full of toys.

So What Toys Do Children Really Need?

Continue reading What Toys Do Children Really Need?

Home Schooling, Unschooling, Radical Unschooling – What’s The Difference?

The options available to home educating families are wide and varied, and this can often cause confusion to people who don’t know where to start or which path would suit their family best. In this article I have outlined the three most common strains of home education, to give an idea of what each of them involves.

Continue reading Home Schooling, Unschooling, Radical Unschooling – What’s The Difference?

Another challenge – This time IT’S A BIG ONE!

Digital sabatical, family, happiness, attachment parenting, continuum concept

A while ago I wrote a post about my goal to go a week without watching TV. After the initial build up, I found it surprisingly easy, and although it’s been several months since the challenge, I am still feeling the effects now. I have a few programmes that I enjoy watching, but once they are over, the TV goes off. The whole act of watching TV is much more mindful now. I can no longer cope with watching it for the sake of it, and I don’t enjoy having trash on in the background anymore.

Continue reading Another challenge – This time IT’S A BIG ONE!

Sucked In To A World Of Distractions

Sucked into a world of distraction

Do you have one of those friends? You know, the kind that comes to visit and spends the entire time checking their phone, texting and “Just taking a quick call.”

I actually had two. One was an old friend, who had her computer permanently on, with facebook up and ready on the screen. When I would visit her, she would be half hearing me, half updating her status’s and replying to messages. My other friend was surgically attached to her phone, constantly looking at it rather than me, and I started to wonder why she even bothered coming round.

Continue reading Sucked In To A World Of Distractions