This week, we implemented a major change in the Palmer house. Taking inspiration from a podcast series by Craig Groeschel on scheduling margin, we implemented “Technology Free Tuesdays” (and “Technology Free Thursdays”) or as we call it: TFT. The rules are simple: No TV, video games, blackberrys, computers, iPods, etc… after 5pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays. That time is now reserved for what I call “hard core family time”.
I got pretty much the reaction I expected from the kids: horrified looks, fervent protests, pleading, bargaining…well, you get the idea. To my surprise however, by the time Tuesday rolled around they were actually excited about it. We cooked a big meal and had a blast. The only one who had a hard time with the rules was me. The kids made me leave my “crackberry” on my dresser because I kept wanting to twitter about what we were doing!
Last night the kids were really getting into it. They picked the menu and (with my direction) did about 85% of the cooking. We had Fettuccine Alfredo & homemade biscuts, and chocolate covered apricots, strawberries & pretzels for dessert.
I was actually a pretty great meal! We also got done with the cleanup in time to play about 6-7 rounds of cards (Texas Hold’em, Five Card Draw & Guts-Survivor) before the kid’s bed time. It was a great night. If you have kids and a busy life, you NEED to do something like this at least every once and a while. For me, I can see it is changing the whole dynamic of my relationship with my kids. Then again, maybe I’m just late to the party and everyone else is already doing stuff like this?
Oh, and by the way, to answer the question…I need technology! I’m still hopelessly addicted to it. While there are definitely many aspects of it that are beneficial, in the end it’s all about balance.