Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer UnPlugged--Fighting Against Tweens and Screens

I never understood people who said they were bored.  Really?  Have you tried daydreaming?  Have you danced in your kitchen?  Have you taken a nature walk or just a walk down your street and made up stories about people you don't know who live in houses on your street or the next?  I mean, come on, bored?  How does that work?

My kids have known from an early age that so-called "boredom" can be inspiration to use their imagination.  When my oldest was very little and he complained of "nothing to do" we sat down and made a list together.  The list was 25 Things To Do When I Feel Bored.  It included things like "play with my stuffed animals" and "dance to my favorite Barney songs."  He was really little and couldn't read yet, but we hung it on the fridge anyway.  Sometimes he'd walk by and point to a number and say "what's this one mommy, I need some impsperashum."  I would read it to him and off he would run to his room to dance to Barney songs. 

That strategy worked for years, but now we are entering new territory....tweens and screens.  Actually, it's also the fact that my stellar parenting of the early years has been slacking since there are now four little beings to "impspire."  All my kids, even the 3-year-old would gladly grab the iPad and play games and play games and play games.  My oldest, now 11, would go from his Kindle Fire to the iPad to Apple TV if there were no rules limiting screen time.  And while I really do love technology, too much of it makes all my kids grumpy and fight more with each other.

In an attempt to fight the lure of the screen to fix any feelings of boredom, we sat down before school got out and made a summer list.  It's on our chalk board in our kitchen for "impsperashum."

So far, so good.  The bike rides, pool time, nature walks and skipping rocks have won out over screen time.  All of that is wonderful and I am once again a pretty proud mama.  But what about when it rains? Last week we had a slew of rainy days and the kids eagerly went for their gadgets and it happened, they got grumpy and fought with each other more than they had since school got out.

I rushed to the chalk board searching for indoor activities that would please four grumpy kids ranging in age from 3 to 11.  And then I saw it, bowling.  We love bowling!  Everyone can bowl.  So off we went.  

Not everyone threw a strike.  Some of us were more interested in the candy machines.  Some of us took it very seriously.  And some of us didn't.  But we all had fun.

What do you do to fight off your kids' "boredom"? Do you struggle with the whole tweens and screens issue?  I'm not alone am I?

If you find yourself with a houseful of kids with "nothing to do" or it's 110 degrees and just too hot to move outside or it's raining or you're just a really cool mom (or dad), here's a special deal for free bowling.  Yup, free with the AMF Summer Unplugged Program.

The AMF Summer Unplugged Program includes two free games every day for each child* ages 15 and under (shoe rental not included). Sign up here ( free bowling all summer long.

*You can register up to six children in the program.  If you would like to add more children, you will need to create a new account using an alternate email address.

And this sweet deal is not just for kids. An AMF Summer Pass is just $34.95 and includes two games per day for the pass owner and up to three guests ages 16 and up. (Shoe rental not included.) Click here ( sign up.

All it takes is one simple sign-up, no coupons to mail or print. Simply present your membership card or your name at your local AMF center and you're good to go.

There are 250 AMF locations, find an AMF Bowling Center near you-

I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and am eligible for a prize drawing.  All opinions stated in this post are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I really, really wish there was a location close to us. I struggle with screen time and boredom and all of that, mostly just with the oldest. Sigh.