Our (Mostly) Electronics-Free Summer: Update #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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Some of the many books my kids are reading. Photo: Jenny Williams

We are finally at the end of our summertime experiment of my kids not doing any electronics. It started out as an attempt to get my kids to engage with their surroundings more, playing outside, with each other, and with their long-forgotten-about toys. I had offered each of them the choice of using up to ten days during that time to use electronics, but they instead chose to go cold turkey all summer.

While I would consider our experiment an unqualified success, my kids didn’t seem to play outside as much as I thought they would, nor did they play with as many toys as I had hoped. They did the latter more often at the beginning of June, but instead of disappearing into electronics, most of the summer they disappeared into books. Not that this is a bad thing at all, mind you. But it wasn’t quite what I expected.

The original plan was to go until the very end of July with no television, no movies, no video games, no iThings, no handheld devices, and no computers, except for the purposes of communication, such as an occasional email. But then I remembered the Olympics. The Olympics! I didn’t think this through! I wasn’t going to deprive them of being able to watch the opening ceremonies and the sporting events for the last few days of July. My daughter especially enjoys the Olympics. It’s something we share, and enjoy doing together, every two years.

So I made the decision that for those last days in July, they could do Olympics-related electronics. I couldn’t expect my kids to hide from the television while I was glued to the opening ceremonies, after all. This was fun for my daughter, since she enjoys the Olympics. But my son pretty much ignored the screen. I’m not sure if that’s because he’s used to not looking at the screen now, or if he just doesn’t like sports. Likely both (my son is anything but a typical boy). He is definitely looking forward to August 1 and all electronics being available to him once again.

Thanks for joining me on this journey of a mostly electronics-free summer. Please check out my other reports from earlier in the summer, including my original post, update #1, and update #2. I’ll report back one more time in a few weeks to describe what life has been like since we plugged back in.

Post in the comments if your kids have ever tried to unplug. How did it go?

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