I wrote a guest post for Kids G.O. Adventure this week, about why I’m an Outdoors Mama. Heather, who runs the blog, had asked me to post about anything I wanted but suggested being #techfree as an option. This is something we are decidedly not as a family, and so I felt uncomfortable using that hashtag or writing to that passion, that I know a lot of parents have.
I decided to write a general piece about the advantages of getting the kids into nature (and as you all know, that absolutely is my passion, and I love to write about it as often as possible!). I realized as I wrote that while we aren’t a tech-free family, we are tech-moderate. Red has just started first grade, after half-day kindergarten last year. Before now, we’ve had all our afternoons to fill as we wished, but this week Red has already moaned about not having enough time to do everything he wants, and we’ve had to discuss the supply and demand of time and activities. Instead of limiting his screen time, I prefer that we look at it positively, list all the things he wants to do, and figure out how to fit them all in. To ensure that our outdoor activities stay at the top of the list, I will make sure we fit these in earlier in the day at the weekend, or as soon as school comes out during the week. When we work as a family to prioritize certain activities, we ensure they don’t slip off the calendar. There will always be a few minutes here and there for TV or Minecraft, but I don’t want those screen time activities to the be the things our free time hinges around. If I put the work in (and sometimes it is work!) to make sure we are prepped and ready for an outdoor adventure, that becomes the central activity.
For my seasoned readers, this post won’t tell you anything new about us. But if you sometimes find it work to get the kids outside, and wonder if it’s worth the effort today, then go and have a quick read. Remind yourself that it most definitely is.