Turn that Box Off and Go Outside!


It drives me completely insane that my kids’ screen time increases exponentially during the summer months. Sometimes I think they forget we live in northern California in walking distance to the ocean. I had to beg for the Slip-n-Slide in Detroit while they, these lucky kids, can ride their bikes to the ocean! The PACIFIC OCEAN! Yet still, for some crazy reason, the temptations of the screen seem stronger than the pull of the tide.

I’ve never liked “the box” as my mom used to call it. I can still hear her telling my brother and sister, who both liked it more than I did, “Turn that box off and go outside!”.  As a side note, our house was robbed quite a few times growing up (I know. I’m in therapy). I remember my parents being very upset about all the losses, except the television. When it was stolen, they didn’t replace it for months. I wonder now if maybe my mom orchestrated it and although I know she did not, I understand why she might’ve.

Ever since my children were very young, I’ve threatened them that their brains will turn to mush if they spend too much time in front of a screen, any screen, no matter how tiny and innocent it may seem. For a long time I think they actually believed me. But today, when i finally got their attention after several failed attempts, “Hello? you guys! Hello? HEY. YOU TWO! My beautiful children staring at the screen! Yeah. You two. It’s time to turn it off. Your brains are going to turn to mush” my son responded calmly, “No, mom, brains can’t turn to mush. I researched it a long time ago. They go unresponsive.” LOL! “EXACTLY! Mush = Unresponsive. Now turn it off. Go find something else to do…and may I suggest something that involves a little sunshine and fresh air? Maybe ride your bikes to the beach?”