Screen Free Sundays are a nearly weekly occurrence for years when our kids were younger. While there are many bad parenting decisions I’ve made over the years, I’m happy to resurrect this good one.
Sundays for parents can be daunting. There’s all the tasks from church (if that is your thing) to getting ready for the week. What if we made this a day where the kids are just kids. While parenting in 2023 gives us this beautiful digital babysitter called a screen (ipad, computer, phone) what if we took it away for a day?
Screen Free Sunday Movement
I write about technology (and funny memes) here on Digital Mom Blog. When I say I love technology, we have made our house a fairly smart house full of tech. We live on our devices. The kids have all the tech things. All that said, one lesson raising littles in the digital age is there must be limits!
Technology Break 1 Day a Week
For many years, one day a week we took to exhale, hide all the technology from the kids and took a pause from screens. The rules were fluid but the here is the general idea. Rather than playing Minecraft or on the iPad, our kids were to play with non-electric toys and find things to do that didn’t require technology.
While in 2023, our kids are now out of the nest or in a phase where this isn’t applicable, looking back -No Screen Sundays were my favorite. I’m sharing this in hopes that this will help a family and sibling connect tech-free and enjoy the benefits of No Screen Sunday.
Lessons Learned from Kids With No Screens
From the years of doing the no screen day, here are a 5 things that we learned by putting away technology and going screen free for a day each week.
1. Kids Can Survive With No Technology
The initial shock of no electronics is well, melt-down inducing. Yes, the kids throw a massive fit when they hear that there are no electronics for the day. Good news, they will survive and get over this. It’s one day a week.
Our third child is the rule follower. He made an effort each Sunday to gather all of the electronics (and a computer cord) – to ensure that he isn’t the only child who didn’t have a screen. If he wasn’t going to have his iPad, NO ONE was going to have their electronics.
The years that we practiced No Screen Sunday, our kids survived with no technology. I’m happy to report all of these years later – there are no side effects from having kids take a day of from screen time.
2. Sibling Bonding
Our bedroom has a window to the backyard. Sunday requires rest, and as I laid in bed reading – I could hear the boys outside.
- They were hatching a plan to make a parkour course.
- They conspired to remove a swing, move a bench and get from one side of the swing set to the other.
- They were TALKING.
With screens, the only talking that our kids do to each other is yelling when someone does something in someone’s Minecraft world that they aren’t suppose to. (How is Minecraft STILL a thing! These boys STILL adore that game!)
I’m not saying that sibling bonding can’t take place via gaming because our kids still game together and they communicate now through Discord. That said, in those younger years – it was a wonderful thing for them to just play without the electronics and digital noise.
3. Bring Out the Toys (non-tech, of course!)
We have a playroom full of toys, but the toys that get played with the most? ELECTRONICS. Whether it’s the XBox, iPads or computers – of course, this is our kids’ first choice when it comes to play.
Get creative on Screen Free Sundays. Bring out the Play-Doh, Legos or Straw Pipes Toy (these are what my kid loves to play with!)
Screen Free Sunday. Sorry kids, with no screens those old school toys that you got for Christmas from Grandma – thats what you are playing with!
If you are looking for another awesome no screen toy, check out our Magformers Review. The teen and tween boy STILL play with these!
4. Release The Energy
With 3 growing boys, the energy in this house is always intense. From the non-stop action of actual play, and not sitting on a couch with a computer or iPad – these boys are TIRED come sundown.
Showers are most definitely required on Screen Free Sundays. Bedtimes are firm on Sunday night, because hello Monday morning – but these boys, have NO problems sleeping after a full days play.
5. Kids Need to Be Kids
One day, just ONE day a week – we are saying no to the new norm of screens. We are making them play, talk and interact with their siblings and enjoying life without a focus on technology. Some Screen Free Sundays we do something with the family (Perot Museum is a must if you are near Dallas, TX!)
Our world is more screen-focused than ever. Let’s give the kids the gift of knowing what the world is like without digital noise, just for one day a week.
When I initially wrote about this, our older kids were just entering the tween and teen years and then we had two younger kids. Screen Free Sundays are much easier when the kids are younger. While this may not be something you can do for now until they fly the coop – enjoy it and them while you can.
No Screens One Day a Week
When we were in the midst of the no screen day routine, there were no hardfast rules. Some Sundays too much life was happening, but as much as possible – we made Screen Free Sundays happen.
I remember talking to a childhood friend. I’ve been a computer nerd since my parent’s first got a computer when I was around 11 or 12 years old.
We both now have kids and the topic of our childhood came up. “Remember when we just use to run and play.” “Oh, but Molly you were always on the computer.” HA. I was.
Put Down the Screens
Put down the screens and enjoy the kids, at least while they are little. It’s just for one day a week. (Here’s some funny Sunday memes you can schedule in advance of your no screen day.)
I want my kids to know the world. They will know and own technology. Screens are a requirement to function. You can’t not know how to use a computer these days. But Screen Free Sundays, they are a favorite memory and so glad we were able to cherish those days when we were able to.
Make memories, that silly app game you are playing will still be there on Monday.
More posts about kids and screen time:
How Often Do Your Kids Go Screen Free?