How often do you unplug…on purpose? Guest contributor Amanda from High Impact Mom talks about making unplugged family time a priority.
Plugging in to each other
In our family we don’t have television service. Now that isn’t to say that we don’t have a television or that we don’t watch television, it simply means that we don’t pay for cable or satellite; instead we’ve opted to be a little more unplugged.
Since all local television went to a paid subscription, our family has been reaping the rewards of unplugging from electronics and plugging into one another. While we still have Netflix, various video gaming systems, and an ever growing population of DVDs, our family makes a point to unplug completely once a week every week, for an entire weekend once a month, and for an entire week once a year.
The connections we feel with one another as a result are amazing.
An entire week without electronics??
Does the idea of an entire week without electronics sound overwhelming? It might be a pain to begin with and honestly, every year it’s a pain when we begin, but by the end of the week we’re calmer and more connected (wirelessly) than we were before we got started.
You don’t have to start out taking an entire week off though! We started unplugging once a week for Family Game Night when our kids were very small in an effort to reconnect after a week of working long hours and missing out on the oh-so-important family time that our girls deserved.
Every Friday or Saturday night, starting from the time Daddy gets home we turn off all of our electronics, cell phones included, and cook dinner together, play board games, read books together, and generally just spend time together.
Occasionally I do really well and plan a craft for our family to do together, but it’s not mandatory. The whole idea is for us to spend time together reconnecting with each other in a stress-free environment.
Each year we celebrate Earth Hour, which is really just an hour that is set aside each year for everyone on the planet to shut down, shut off, and unplug. Our monthly weekend-long unplug started out this way, by our participating each year in Earth Hour. Our family enjoyed it so much that one year we decided to spend the entire weekend celebrating Earth Hour.
Over the years, we’ve strayed from totally unplugging for the entire weekend, but we have started practicing our own version each month. We turn off the computers, televisions, and video games and spend time just being a family the entire weekend.
No electronics for a week
After having brought Family Game Night and Family Weekend into our lives the yearly TV turnoff week doesn’t seem like such a difficult jump. Once a year, for an entire week our family stays away from electronics and spends time just playing games, doing crafts, cooking together, and reading together. We also spend some of this time alone doing devotionals, journaling, napping, or whatever else we want to do that isn’t electronic.
Our favorite game to play when we’re unplugged is “Hide-and-Seek in the Dark”, just make sure your house is clean before hand or it becomes “hospital time in the dark”.
Whether you decide to unplug once a week, once a month, or once a year I strongly encourage you to take time out away from the electronics we’ve all come to rely on and spend time reconnecting with the ones you hold dear. It’s not time you’ll regret, I can promise you that. I am a better mother, wife, and friend (I’m probably a little saner too) for the time we spend together without any distractions.
Bio: As Chief Executive Blogging Mama at High Impact Mom, Amanda encounters all sorts of madness as she goes to bat for education, corrals two busy daughters, manages a successful social media marketing company and co-owns IT consulting company with her husband, attends college fulltime, and occasionally even finds time for a date with her husband. Amanda is a social media addict, a compulsive volunteer, and a hard rocking-Jane Austen reading devoted mama…she might also a little bit crazy.