I think Week Three of the Focused Moms Challenge has been the hardest so far. But, we made it! It’s all downhill from here. For those of you on this journey with me, I’m so proud of you. I KNOW how difficult this has been, but I hope that like me you’re already seeing the positive results in your families.
This week, our challenge was to “Make Eye Contact” (aka, Unplug the Kids). If your house is anything like mine, I’m sure you got a little resistance on this one. While my kids loved the Focused Moms Challenge during weeks one and two when I was paying more attention to them, this week I got a lot of “Why do I have to be in YOUR challenge?” Here are my confessions of the successes and the struggles at my house:
Set up ‘Screen Free Time’ for the week. For my house, we set up a Screen Free Time from 3-7 pm each day. When I first introduced the idea, I got a lot of crying and complaining! The kids could not imagine what they had done to earn such a harsh punishment. The more they whined about it, the more committed I became to helping them unplug a little!
By the end of the first afternoon, they were all saying that they really liked Screen Free Time. I was so proud of myself (and them)! While my son practiced soccer on Monday, I made flower necklaces and bracelets with the girls in a field. Really! It was like we were back in the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ era, and I loved it! Day two was also a success and still kind of fun. But then the excitement wore off and day three was an epic fail! We rallied for day four and survived screen free for about two hours (instead of four). Oh well, we tried. We had some successes and a lot of struggles, and I think all in all we learned a lot from the adventure.
No more “In A Minute.” I am a firm believer that my job in life is NOT to be at the beck and call of my children every second of the day. That being said, I was using “In a minute” a lot more than I needed to. And what was worse was that I was agreeing to things that I would not normally agree to because I wasn’t even paying attention to what I was saying “In a minute” about! This week, I was able to change up my vocabulary a bit so that I wasn’t constantly saying “In a minute.” I still did have to say it, because sometimes my kids have to wait, and I don’t always have to explain myself. But I’d say I got my use of that exact phrase down to about once or twice a day. Not bad from where I was a month ago!
Don’t forget to continue to parent. I realized quickly this week that there are a lot more opportunities to parent your children when all of the electronics are turned off. When you’re spending more time with your kids, then naturally you’ll get a chance to take part in more positive (and negative) parent-child interactions throughout the day. And to me, that’s a good thing!
Here we are at the end of Week Three. What did I learn?
- My family needs to have Screen Free Time more often. Not every day, not even every week, but I need to be more aware of making sure that we don’t spend all of our free time watching television or on the computer.
- My children are much more creative and spend lots more time reading or outside playing when the electronics are turned off.
- I need to set some goals with my family about how much screen time each day is too much.
- Taking a break from electronics is just as hard on kids as it is on grown-ups. But just as much as we need it, they do too!
Now, it’s your turn. I’ve opened up about my successes and struggles and now the Focused Moms community wants to hear from you. Here’s how it works:
- Comment below about what worked and what didn’t for you in Week Three. Inquiring minds want to know!
- If you’re a blogger, link up a blog post below that you wrote about Week Three of the Focused Moms Challenge.
- Have a picture to share? Upload it to the Focused Moms Challenge Facebook wall or Flickr group for us to see.
- Check back over the weekend to see how other Focused Moms did on the challenge and get ideas from their comments, blog posts, and pictures.
- Share the Focused Moms Challenge! It’s not too late for new friends to join. Just direct them to ChildPsychMom.com/FocusedMoms to get started.
This weekend, put the finishing touches on Week Three. Use the ideas you picked up here and from your week at home to get good at our three steps from this week. Then, I’ll see you back here on Monday for the start of our last week of the Focused Moms Challenge!