Have you seen our video links?  If you go to the top of the page and click the link to videos you can find a video produced by a Boston organization: The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. The video is a brief discussion and demonstration of all the marketing research that is used to influence your kids. Check it out!

Below I have pasted an announcement from Julia deSilva the creator and administrator behind ACT Raising Safe Kids. You have the opportunity to participate in pushing back on the marketing that targets children. You have a chance to think about your free time in a new way. By the way, this is a Boston organization so it is not an oversight but a design feature that it falls on vacation week for many of us.

Go Play!

Presented by
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers

“A wonderful resource–for organizing a Screen-Free Week or as a year-round educational guide.”
Rethinking Schools Magazine

Less than two weeks until Screen-Free Week!  In the coming days, we’ll be sending a series of short pieces highlighting the importance of Screen-Free Week to children and families, tips for preparing, and suggestions for screen-free activities. If you would prefer not to receive Screen-Free Week emails but want to continue to receive CCFC action alerts and news, please reply to this email with No SFW email in the subject line.  (You can always unsubscribe from all CCFC emails by clicking the link at the bottom of the page)

If you haven’t ordered your Screen-Free Week Organizer Kits, posters, or t-shirts, there’s still time.  Electronic copies of the kit  will be emailed the same business day.  Printed copies of the kit and other materials will be sent priority mail by the next business day.  Click here to order today!
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Screen-Free Week . . . And Weren’t Afraid to Ask (adapted from the 2011 Organizer Kit)

Q: Why turn off all the screens completely?  Can we do it for just one day?
A. Turning off the screens for seven full days helps participants realize that life without screen-time is not impossible and may actually be more fun.  A week-long turnoff allows sufficient time to develop habits likely to be more productive and rewarding. A one-day turnoff is easier—but doesn’t give people enough of a break from the noise to reassess the power of screens in their lives.

Q:  Are all screens bad?  What about PBS?
A. One purpose of Screen-Free Week is to leave behind judgments about the quality of programming and focus instead on creating, discovering, building, participating and doing. Regardless of the quality of media, there is no denying that, for most children today, time spent with screens overwhelms all other leisure activities—and that too much screen time is harmful. Use Screen-Free Week as a catalyst for enjoying the world.

Q:  Are you Luddites?
A. Are you kidding?  Not at all.  We deeply appreciate the value of screen technology for work, entertainment, education—and organizing.  In fact, CCFC’s work is made possible by our online network and activities.  But we know that screens are way too prevalent in all of our lives, that screen time is habituating, and that excessive screen time is harmful, particularly for children.  Childhood obesity, poor school performance and attention problems are all linked to too much screen time.  Cutting out screen time for a week is a way of beginning to help wean children (and ourselves) off dependence on screens for stimulation and soothing.  It’s also a way to provide opportunities for engaging in the pleasures of the real world.

Q: Do I need to turn off even my cell phone?  What about my work computer?
A: We’re absolutely not asking you to stop using your computer for work, or to stop talking on your phone. The goal of Screen-Free Week is to refrain from using screens for entertainment in order to enjoy the rest of the world.  Screens are so interwoven in the fabric of our lives that sorting out what’s entertainment and what’s work or communication may be difficult.  In fact, figuring out the role of screens in our lives is an important component of SFW.  But if talking, texting, or checking your work email is interfering with screen-free family time (including meals), then you may want to think carefully about how you’re using them.

Q:  I need some peace and quiet when I come home.  How do I occupy the kids while I fix dinner or do things around the house?
A. Have the children help with simple tasks or ask them to talk or read to you while you prepare dinner. Have art materials available in the kitchen so the kids can have your company while you’re cooking.  Developing a few regular pre-dinner activities for children is a worthwhile investment. Some parents find that playing with kids for a few minutes helps relax the kids as well as themselves. Brainstorm with other parents about what they do.

Q:  Our neighborhood is unsafe.  Isn’t it better that my kids sit in front of the screen at home rather than risk harm outside?
A.  It’s tragic that all children do not have access to safe outdoor play areas.  We should all be working to change that.  Try joining with neighbors or a local community center to develop safe  outdoor activities for participating families.  Meanwhile, there are lots of indoor activities that are fun, productive and screen-free. You can read, play board games, bake, do art projects and more.  We’ll be sending more tips for going screen-free in the coming days.

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