Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday; Good Ol' Fashioned Fun!

This week's #WCW is a note from our OWN Wellness Coach Delia Rice. This week is National Screen Free Week and she's come up with a few suggestions to help your family enjoy a few moments of real life time together... free from the electronic devices! 



Did you Know that this week is National Screen Free Week?! May 4-10. The campaign was created 21 years ago to help families see the vital importance of finding alternatives to screen time—opportunities to explore their own ideas and creations, enjoy each other, and take pleasure in the world around them. Turn off that TV, I-Pad, fancy phone, and get to know one another!

This is something that my family and I celebrate EVERY week! That’s right, we have one television in the house. It is turned on about twice a month for family movie night and maybe once a week for a work out video. We save $ by not having cable and it allows for us to focus on much much more.

Here are some statistics that boggle my mind:

·         The average American preschooler logs 32 hours of “screen” time a week!
·         The more time preschool children spend with screens, the less time they spend engaged in cre­ative play – the foundation of learning.
·         Screen time for children under 3 is linked to irregular sleep patterns and delayed language.
·         Including multitasking, children ages 8-18 spend an average of 4 ½ hours per day watching television, 1 ½ hours using computers, and more than an hour playing video games.
·         Adolescents who watch 3 or more hours of television daily are at high risk for poor homework completion, negative attitudes toward school, poor grades, and long-term aca­demic struggles.
·         Children with a television in their bedroom are more likely to be overweight and have poor sleep habits.
·         When children read from “electronic” books, they spend more time pushing buttons than reading the story, which results in poorer character identification, less story comprehension, and less parent-child interactions than reading from a REAL book.
·         38.5 minutes. The amount of time parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children per week!
·         The more time children and adults spend with screens, the more materialistic they are. Screen media is riddled with
adver­tising and marketing, kids and adults immersed in screens are bombarded with the false message that the things they buy will make them happy. There is a growing body of evidence that the opposite is true. The pressure to spend and consume actually makes people less happy.
·         Children, on average, see 25,000 commercials each year, a figure that does not include product place­ment.

And that’s just to name a few! To learn more you can go to www.screenfree.org
So now you ask, “Delia…what are we supposed to do? We can’t live without our electronic devices!” I know, I know…this is the world we live in, I am just asking you to give it a try! Consider the striking number of hours that kids and adults are spending attached to a screen, combined with the current obesity epidemic- no matter how convenient, educational, or time-filling screens are, there needs to be a limit. I am not asking everyone to be an extremist (I’ve been called that a few times), but setting boundaries will help. Start by being more aware of how much time you and your children do sit in front of a “screen.” Limit the # of hours, take the TV’s out of the bedrooms! Have a no electronics at the dinner table rule. Heck, start eating dinner at the table together! Allow no devices during homework time, except if needed for the homework. Start to treat TV and I Pad use as a privilege to be earned-not a right. Be aware of what your children are watching-monitor programs for material that isn’t appropriate. For older children, be there to help explain a confusing situation/difficult topics.

So here’s my recipe for the week:

Go on a picnic/Make a cake from scratch/Have a pot luck dinner with friends/Learn to knit/Plant a garden/Put on your favorite radio station and have a dance party in your living room/Paint a picture/Write an old-fashioned letter to someone/Play cards/Play charades/Meet a friend for a cup of coffee and talk/Refinish a piece of furniture/Walk the dog/Do yard work/Go camping/Watch a sunset/Learn to play a musical instrument/Go to a museum/Ride a bike/Learn yoga/Go bowling/Build a fort in the living room/Go to the library/Play hide & seek/Fly a kite/Have a slumber party/Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk/Put on a play/Have a scavenger hunt/jump on a trampoline/cook a meal together/Play a board game/Go roller-skating/Ride horses/Run through the sprinkler/Clean out your closet/Research your family history/Do an at home spa treatment/Lay on your back and look at the clouds/Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while

“When I power down and dream big…I can touch the sky.”

-Delia 


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