I was happy to see that the official home of Screen-Free Week is the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. I see this organization as fighting the good fight against marketers, such as Scholastic, Inc. and various soft drink and food companies who, as described by Alex Molnar (Ariz. State Univ.) in the documentary Captive Audience, view children as “objects whose primary purpose is to be manipulated for some benefit to an adult.”
My first reaction to stumbling on this year’s Screen-Free dates, April 30 to May 6, was to make a note on my calendar. I expect that many afterschooling families’ routines, like my family’s, won’t be affected much by participating fully in a screen turn-off. Still, among the significant pressure to consume media that my kids bring home from school, I think a concentrated reminder of the pleasure in pursuing a way of being that is different from what they often see during their school days might be helpful.
I downloaded the Screen-Free Week Organizer’s Kit in anticipation of finding ideas for helping my younger child to accept a week-long ban. I was a bit overwhelmed by 76 pages of things to do before, during, and after the week. In the end, I’ll use the week to reinforce what we’re doing already – I think a hard sell would undermine any efforts to help the kids experience the intrinsic rewards of a screen-free week for themselves.
Family's should make a habit of screen free from Monday - Friday. This should include hand held devices as well. Other than home work research on the computer we try and be screen free on school days.