Screen-Free Week is April 29 – May 5, 2019! Share +

Posted by: coronadosafe 1 year, 11 months ago

Coronado SAFE invites you to take a break from digital entertainment and enjoys life beyond the screen

CORONADO, CAScreen-Free Week is here April 29 – May 5, 2019. Children, families, schools, and communities around the world will pursue activities and routines designed to help children turn off their screens and swap digital entertainment for the joys of connecting with family, friends, nature, and their own creativity. 

In our own community, organizations including Coronado SAFE, Coronado Unified School District, Coronado Community Center, and more are working this week to demystify the questions of why technology has such a strong grip on our kids and why it is replacing normal childhood activities. The organizations will be participating in a Disconnect to Connect challenge, welcoming local families to join the challenge in their own households, putting away technology outside of work and school hours.

“Screen-Free Week is a celebration of the partnership we have between service organizations like Coronado SAFE and our school district – aligning efforts and resources in support of the health, safety, and success of every child, every day.” said Karl Mueller, Superintendent, Coronado Unified School District.

Through the Disconnect to Connect challenge, the organizations are encouraging parents to examine the effects screen media use is having on their children, and finding ways to help them to move toward a healthier, more media-balanced life to successfully accomplish the seemingly impossible: preventing social media and smartphones from controlling their kids.

While many times the tremendous access that children and teens have for communication and information through their smartphones can, at first glance, be perceived as positive, studies prove that the daily usage of these devices (including delving into social media via apps such as Snapchat and Instagram) can quickly become addictive and establish unhealthy behaviors and self identity problems. Karin Melina, Principal of Coronado Middle School, has seen through her career how daily social media and smartphone usage is affecting children’s wellbeing: "Over the past several years, the number of student issues directly related social media use has steadily and rapidly increased. Unfortunately, some of these issues result in significant consequences.” 

A more media-balanced life helps children to thrive, which is so much better than just surviving in today's busy, over-scheduled, and disconnected world. Screen-Free Week can be the first step your family takes to achieve that balance. Not only is it a fun way to reduce dependence on television, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers, but it is also a chance for children and adults alike to power down and reconnect with the people and community around them, face-to-face.

To participate in the Disconnect to Connect challenge, here are seven simple ideas to unplug from devices during Screen-Free Week, and focus on communication as a family:

  1. Turn off and put away all devices at family meals. Making this a routine beyond Screen-Free Week is a great idea to promote everyday conversation with your kids, and to also teach them — and remind yourselves — how to respect the presence of others around you.
  2. Celebrate Children’s Book Week (which also happens to be April 29 – May 5) with a visit to the bookstore or library. 
  3. Go for a long, slow walk around the neighborhood. Maybe even try a route you haven’t walked before — or at least for a long while — to see what has changed over time.
  4. Host a game night, and invite another family to join in.
  5. Get outside for some fresh air and play, whether it’s a trip to the beach to lounge, a trip to the mountains to hike, or a trip to the park to picnic.
  6. Plan for dedicated time to play with and enjoy the company of a family pet.
  7. Do something creative as a family. Visit the Farmer’s Market for some fresh ingredients and cook a meal together. Or, pull out all the art supplies and craft cards to send to loved ones. Whatever you do, have fun with it, and don’t forget to find a reason to laugh.

If your child does not currently have a smartphone and you are considering purchasing one for him/her, the staff of Coronado SAFE recommends the book, “Can Your Teen Survive and Thrive Without A Smartphone” by Melanie Hempe, a Mother’s personal account and scientific study into the powerful role smartphones play in the lives of children. This book offers busy parents easy-to-follow scientific information and practical solutions for children of all ages, stressing the importance of real-life connections in a digital age.

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