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Monday, September 13, 2010

Going Unplugged

What is going unplugged? Well, each person's definition varies. Some people say it means unplugging everything! Not even using electricity at all for things like the stove, etc... for the period of time they are unplugging. Others, like myself pick and choose.

Why unplug? For our family, a time of unplugging will be to reconnect with one another. Don't get me wrong, I love my gadgets, the online arena, etc.. as well as get great info from it that is actually helpful to me and my family. However, it's easy to go overboard. You know it's bad when your husband is in one room on his laptop or ipad and you're in the den chatting away - online.

So, what is our plan? Well, Matthew and I are still in the planning phases. This is something I have longed to do for a very long time. Ideally we'll be unplugged for set times during the day and then for one whole day, we'll be totally unplugged (to our standards). No tv, no computer, ipad, ipod, radio, movies, video games of any kind, etc... Basically, when it comes to the entertainment arena, we're going to be unplugged.

We used to have a family schedule before Matt started working overtime. I'm hoping to get back into that as well. Here's an example of a family schedule that we would use.

Eat dinner at 5pm
Family Devotions and clean up following.

Eat dinner at 5pm
Family Devotions and clean up following.
Family Game Night

Eat dinner at 5pm
Family Devotions and clean up following.
Take a walk

Eat dinner at 5pm
Family Devotions and clean up following.
Reading Night/Quiet time for kids who can't read.

Eat dinner at 5pm
Family Devotions and clean up following.
Family Movie Night

So somewhere in a schedule similar to that, we'll be having a night where we unplug. The whole point of the family schedule is because it's too easy to waste away time. Even though we're here together, we're not interacting with one another as much as we should.

So yeah, there you have it. My challenge to you as this school year approaches is to at the very least make up some kind of family schedule. If you're really daring, try unplugging. You won't regret either of these decisions. I do need to warn you though, if you follow through with either of these ideas, you'll have a stronger and more closely knit family. You'll also have more fun than you've imagined you could.

Here are some unplugging activity ideas:
Play a game.
Take a walk outside.
Play with your kids outside.
Ride your bikes.
Bake cookies, bread, etc.. together.
Have a family sharing time.
Go out for ice cream.
Go to a park.
Walk around a shopping center together.
Work on an experiment together.
Go on a scavenger hunt.
Fly a kite.
Learn a new board game.
Make an indoor fort.
Plant a garden, then tend to it together.
Blow bubbles.
Go to the beach.
Go camping in your backyard.
Learn a hobby together such as sewing, drawing, painting, etc...
Help out a family or neighbor in need.
Make homemade play dough then make your own creations.
Build something with legos together.
Make music together with real or homemade instruments.
Fly a kite.
Play with a train set.
Go out and identify wildflowers, trees, etc...
Play Hide N' Seek or Marco Polo.
Make matching family clothing by tie dying or painting.
Write and then act out a play or story.
Make treasure hunts for one another.
Go to an apple orchard.
Visit the farmer's market.
Play in the rain while singing "I'm singing in the rain".
Play leap frog.
Play hop scotch.
Find something in your house to repurpose.
Take a drive and let the kids choose where you turn. Don't have a specific location in mind.

You get the idea. Last but not least, here's is an article another family wrote. It really gets one thinking. The part that struck me was this...

“First thing in the morning, I’d check my Facebook and it’d be the last thing I’d do at night,” Anderson said. “But I didn’t have the time for God and my devotions. It was time to examine our priorities.”


Sandi said...

Your dad would think I was cracked if I told him I wanted to Play Hide N' Seek , Marco Polo, leapfrog or hopscotch!! lol

Anonymous said...

I love this! I think our family would really benefit from going unplugged from dinner until bedtime. On school nights, Tyler really needs the structure and schedule so he can fall asleep and be rested for the next day.
I also find myself substituting unwinding while spending time on Facebook for spending time with God. But it's a poor replacement; it doesn't truly refresh like a quiet time with God does.
Thanks for the encouraging admonition.

Hugo said...

This is gorgeous!