If you have just joined in over here, you may not know that we are a over a week into our month of no (excess) spending. When our family began the challenge, it was due to needing to rebuild our savings accounts, but after a week, I’m learning that it’s really not that hard to think through things before throwing them into a cart. This may last longer than a month!
Cutting the spending also has an impact on our kids – their expectations of ‘owning things’ needed to be scaled back… drastically.
While we have tightened our budget-belts, I decided to go ahead and add a few more ‘fun challenges’ this summer. All of this is in hopes of bringing back a true childhood for our kids and instilling stronger values while enjoying the best season of the year.
Summer is about being barefoot in the grass, exploring the creeks, staying up until the stars come out, sleeping in and making over-sized bowls of cereal, becoming brown under the sun while diving into the pool, and road tripping with your family. It’s about exploring, adventuring, bonding with friends, and testing the boundaries of new found independence.
But yet, the youth of today are lost in social media and screens. Even the youngest of the generation aren’t out exploring the world; the toddlers know how to swipe a screen better than their parents. Who am I kidding? My own generation is lost as well! And we are no saints here. We own three iPads and have 2 TV’s in our home. While the iPads are used for homeschooling, they have turned into a crutch – for the kids and myself.
I’m done with crutches. This slower, mid-west lifestyle has opened my eyes to a wonderful opportunity… The opportunity to truly be present. So this is what we’ve done, we collected the iPads for good, unless a parent grants permission for an educational app to be used (exception will be the long road trip next month!). They will be used for homeschooling still – and facetiming family! – but that’s it, for now. The TV was never really an issue here, but the rule this summer is no TV until Mama says it’s ok.
I’m not doing any of this to punish myself or the kids. I enjoy evening TV, and I know the kids do too! It’s an easy way to relax and tune out… but for 95% of the day, music is all we need!
Good-bye extreme technology.
We are a week into these changes and have spent more hours talking together than ever before. Meals are shared, clouds are made into alligators, bikes have been rode longer (and farther), and creations have been made from moments of boredom. We have found new playgrounds, filled inflatable pools, and lived slower – together.
I write all of this in hopes that you will join our #WildTribeAdventures this summer and cut off the majority of your technology…. in hopes to bring back childhood – and bring back summer!
My kids will be at the library, pool, and children’s museum… They will spend hours being bored at home; they will play in the rain, ride bikes through our neighborhood, and create secrets together. I will worry as they wander around, but keep them within shouting distance. I will stop arguments from turning ugly, but let them solve their own problems. I will read my own books and encourage them to do the same. There will be hard days and easy ones, but the summer will be our best one yet.
Join us, using #WildChildSummer