Screen Free Week

Dear Thinking Stick Readers,

Well, it’s that time again. From April 21st- April 27th Jeff will be participating in the annual “Screen Free Week.” If you remember from last year’s post, this is Jeff’s ‘voluntary’ participation in taking control of the screens in his life by turning them off for seven days. For seven days, Jeff will only use screens (computers, televisions, iPods, etc) at work for necessary work tasks.

Last year, Jeff’s participation in Screen Free Week taught him something…the importance of time. Recognizing and reevaluating the time we spend with ‘screens’ is the focus of this week. Use this time to evaluate your own screen time and the priorities you have in your life. Take the seven day challenge with Jeff; be sure you are in control of your screen time and not the screen time controlling you! Take time to enjoy your family, your friends, and the world around you. Try some new hobbies, explore places that you’ve always been interested in, pick up that ‘real’ book you’ve been meaning to read. Take the time to just be.

Don’t worry, Jeff will be back in seven days. He will have had seven days to think, contemplate, and formulate loads of new ideas he will be anxious to share with you!

Good luck,

A Blogger’s Spouse

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SCREEN-TIME Fact Sheet…
Screens & Very Yong Children

1. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to avoid television and other electronic media for children two years of age and under.–AAP statement, August 2, 1999

2. Overweight U.S. babies are more numerous since 1980, a study in the journal Obesity found, growing to 6% from 3% of those under 6 months old. Wall Street Journal 2006

3. Seventy percent of day-care centers use TV during a typical day.–Tashman, Billy, “Sorry Ernie, TV isn’t Teaching,” New York Times, Nov. 12, 1994

4. In a study of preschoolers (ages 1-4), a child’s risk of being overweight increased by six percent for every hour of television watched per day. If that child had a TV in his or her bedroom, the odds of being overweight jumped an additional thirty-one percent for every hour watched. Preschool children with TVs in their bedroom watched an additional 4.8 hours of TV or videos every week.–Dennison, et.al. 2002

5. Research now indicates that for every hour of television children watch each day, their risk of developing attention-related problems later increases by ten percent. For example, if a child watches three hours of television each day, the child would be thirty percent more likely to develop attention deficit disorder.–D. Christakis, Pediatrics, April 2004

6. One in four children under the age of two years has a TV in his or her bedroom.–Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’s Digital Media Centers, 2003

7. The more TV preschoolers watch, the less well they do academically in the first grade; also, The more TV preschoolers watch, the less well-socialized they are in the first grade.–Burton, Sydney, James Calonico and Dennis McSeveney, “Effects of Preschool Television Watching on First-Grade Children,” Journal of Communication, Summer 1979

8. Children in households where the TV is on “always” or “most of the time” are less likely to read than are children in other homes. Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’s Digital Media Centers, 2003

Children six and under spend an average of two hours a day using screen media, about the same amount of time they spend playing outside, and well over the amount they spend reading or being read to (39 minutes).–Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’s Digital Media Centers, 2003