family time

Tech Time Out: We Took the Pledge!

Tech Timeout

Back in June I shared with you that my family was about to take the pledge! The pledge I am referring to is the Tech Timeout Challenge by life insurance provider Foresters.

Tech Timeout Challenge (TTO) is an initiative with the goal of promoting families to put their electronic devices down and spend more quality time together. The average American household has 24 electronic devices within their home. This means that often each family member is plugged in at once.

Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all their electronic devices for one hour a day to help spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.

Fast forward three months and our pledge has come to an end and I’m happy to share our experience with you today.

Tech Time Out

MY PREDICTIONS REALIZED

In my first post, I predicted that I would be the one to struggle the most with the pledge; turns out that I was right. As suspected I went into withdrawal without my iPhone even though it was just an hour a day, but as any addict knows, being told you can’t have something makes you want it more.

We found the best way to overcome this challenge was to get out of the house and do something outdoors. During the summer we all belong outside anyway, so I was thankful for the motivation to do so. Sometimes it is too easy to sit behind the computer to work and rely on a movie to entertain the kids.

HOW LONG WE LASTED

As with most new routines, we were really motivated at the start but as time passed it became harder to stay on top of our task. At first we missed a day and then we missed another day and so on and it became real work to carve out that hour each day. It’s not that we didn’t have the hour to spare; it was more that we weren’t so official in saying “now is our tech time out hour.

Consciously I chose not to bring my phone with me when we were going out so that when Little S was playing at the park, I wasn’t inclined to grab it and distract myself. This proved to be priceless as I was able to spend more focused time with her and interact at a greater level.

Overall I am confident in reporting that we made it the whole summer but maybe not totally official. We definitely spent an hour a day without using any technology most days this summer.

OUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITIES

Because we live in a high-rise, it’s not feasible for Little S to run around outside alone like she would if we had a backyard; thus, we are already in the habit of leaving technology behind in favour of the park (except that I used to bring my iPhone with me), walks around downtown and so on.

We enjoyed going for walks to get some fro-yo, window shopping, walking to the grocery store instead of driving and so on. I knew we would not be successful just sitting around the house as technology is everywhere and it’s super tempting!

WHAT I LEARNED

Participating in the TTO confirmed for me that each member of family is very reliant on technology. From Little S’ iPod and LeapPad to my husband and I watching TV and movies, we are constantly using some form of electronic entertainment whether it’s at home or in the car. It was a little disheartening to realize that we needed to force ourselves to do without.

What I have taken away with me at the end of this adventure is that sometimes technology can drive you a little crazy and like everything else in life, moderation is the key. In today’s fast paced world, it might mean taking a pledge like the Tech Time Out to get this much-needed moderation. I’m also happy to pass on this attitude to my daughter so that she can carry this habit forward into her future.

If you haven’t taken the pledge yet, I highly recommend that you do so. You may be surprised by what you learn!

This post was generously sponsored by life insurance provider Foresters, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit www.techtimeout.com.

City Mom

Tech Timeout: I’m Taking the Pledge!

Tech TimeoutIf you know me well, you’ll know that the pledge I am about to take is going to be a stretch for me! It’s going to be something that will challenge me to my very core, but something so worthwhile!

TECH TIMEOUT CHALLENGE BY FORESTERS

Tech Timeout by ForestersTech Timeout Challenge by life insurance provider, Foresters is an initiative with the goal of promoting families to put their electronic devices down and spend more quality time together. It is said that the average American household has 24 electronic devices within their home. This means that often each family member is plugged in at once.

Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all their electronic devices for one hour a day to help spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.

This video really sums it up! 

THE PLEDGE

The Tech Timeout Pledge challenges you and your family to turn off all the technology in your home (yes, even your cell phone), for at least ONE HOUR a day this summer and get to know your family better.

You can download the Tech Timeout™ challenge Pledge form and ask every member of your family to sign it. Then put it up in a place where everyone can see it, so that it becomes a constant reminder of your commitment to family time.

MY PLEDGE

Tech Timeout Pledge

I will be the first to admit that I am way too addicted to my electronics; particularly my iPhone. If you ask my husband, he will tell you that it’s glued to my hand.

But more than that, we all seem to be reliant on some form of electronics.  Whether it’s our TV, smart phones or iPods, there is usually something plugged in at our house. That is why I was eager to participate in this challenge; I know it will be so good for us.

I plan to approach this pledge by scheduling one hour a day from now until September at the same time each weekday and an hour at the same time each weekend. For example, Monday to Friday we will “unplug” from 6 pm to 7 pm and from 9 am to 10 am on weekends.  This way it will become a habit and we’ll be scheduled to unplug which will increase our chances of success!

MAKING THE HOUR COUNT

Look at this hour as an extra hour in the day, because really, that’s what it is. When you’re plugged in time flies at an astronomical rate, but when you take the time to savour the finer things in life, like love, laughter and togetherness, you’re able to slow time down and take it all in.

So what to do with this extra hour? There are so many fun options like playing board games, going for ice cream, going to the park etc. And for more inspiration, check out Tech Timeout’s list of 50 things to do as a family without technology.

MY PREDICTION

In my family, I believe it is going to be me who has the hardest time with this project. Habits are hard to break, and picking up my phone for a quick check on things is definitely ingrained in me. I plan to keep my phone out of reach during this hour so that I am not inclined to grab for it.

Another piece of technology that I predict we will all struggle with is the television. After a long day at work, dinner prep and clean up, it’s all too easy to plop down in front of the TV to unwind. Though I know that we will all enjoy this hour together, at first I think it’s going to seem like work compared the passive-state that watching TV can create.

WILL YOU TAKE THE PLEDGE?

Now that you’ve learned about the Tech Timeout™ Challenge, is this something that you think you can start with your family this summer? Or is this something that you are already doing? What kinds of challenges to do you face or foresee facing?

For more information about the Tech Timeout Challenge by life insurance provider, Foresters visit:

Tech Timeout Challenge: techtimeout.com

Facebookfacebook.com/TechTimeOut

Pinterest: pinterest.com/techtimeout/

This post was generously sponsored by life insurance provider Foresters, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit www.techtimeout.com.

Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

City Mom

It All Starts With Yes {Giveaway}

 

What do you think is the most common word that comes from most parents’ mouths? If you guessed the word ‘No’, you’re right! Over 60% of Canadian moms regularly say no to their children’s requests for family time, citing lack of time as the major barrier. This is not really that surprising as we’re all busy moms.

After a long day at work, the afterschool routine, dinner and cleanup, there is little time and energy left for quality family time. I must admit that we often ‘veg’ out in front of the TV to unwind after a hectic day. That is why I decided to take the pledge! So that I can make a positive effort to spend more quality time with my family.

It’s time to say yes! Procter & Gamble’s Family Care brands – Bounty®, Charmin®, and Puffs® – along with Tide® and Mr. Clean®, invite you to take the It All Starts with Yes Challenge, and share the wonderful memories you create.

THE CHALLENGE

Count the number of times you say ‘no’ in any given week or weekend, and then turn them into “Yes” opportunities. The result: more fun activities together such as baking, games, and arts and crafts!

THE PLEDGE

The pledge provides you with a way to join your kids in experiencing all of life’s little adventures.

DISCOVERY GUIDE

Download your Discovery Guide and get great ideas for activities with your kids to help you start saying YES!

YES PASS

Create your YES! Pass and make up for all the activities you’ve had to say “no” to. That way, they’ll know there’s a great big YES! right around the corner.

PRIZES

Every time you create a YES! Pass you’ll be entered into a monthly draw for amazing prizes from the mentioned brands. You can then upload a photo of your YES! adventure for a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000 for your own family adventure.

WIN A YES! KIT

P&G brands are coming together to help you say YES! more often to your kids. This package is valued at $50.00 and includes:

  • Tide® original liquid laundry detergent
  • Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser
  • Box of Puffs® facial tissue
  • Charmin® Freshmates
  • Bounty® paper towel
  • Adult and child-size aprons
  • Ideas to create more fun-filled family moments

Start saying yes more often and enter this fun giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below!

Good luck and enjoy some extra time with your family!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Making Time For Play With Kinder Surprise

Kinder Surprise 2012

Kinder Surprise 2012

Running a family can be stressful. There’s so much to do like preparing meals, washing clothes, transporting kids to and from school and sports, cleaning house, grocery shopping, planning, fixing, teaching, nurturing…the list is endless.

It can be a difficult task to add some fun and play time into the mix when’s there’s so much to do. That’s why I’m really excited to be a part of the re-launch of Kinder® Surprise® Canada and to be a KINDER® Mom ambassador!

Kinder Surprise is a treat that I’m happy to share with little S. They’re made from high-quality cocoa and real sugar. I’m also impressed with Kinder’s belief in responsible treating and global commitment not to market to children. They celebrate the small wins and have been creating moments of joy for Canadian families for over 30 years.

KINDER® SURPRISE® 2012 TOY COLLECTION

Kinder Surprise 2012

Little S has always been a fan of Kinder Surprise. I’m not sure which she enjoys more, the sweet treat or the surprise inside. She’ll be thrilled to learn of the new 2012 toy collection that is part of the Kinder Surprise re-launch. There are 70 brand new toys including some bigger, better and more playful toys!  

Check them out (you can also visit the Kinder Surprise Facebook page to see the whole collection). And ‘Like” their page today (Aug 29, 2o11) for your chance to receive one of 5,000 free eggs!

Kinder Surprise 2012

MAKING TIME FOR FUN

A day in the life of our busy family involves the morning routine, school for S and work for us. After the day is over I make a point of walking to pick S up from school and stopping in at the park for some play time before the evening routine begins. This was one of the reasons we chose to move into our condo, so we could be close to her school and enjoy some more outdoor time rather than ‘in-the-car-time’.

We often share a snack under our favourite tree and then we head down to the playground for some time on the swings and climbers. It’s here that I get to learn about her day and share some unique one-on-one time with her. We both look forward to this time to recharge after a long day and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle.

How do you and your family make time for play? Do you celebrate the small wins too? Share your stories and some tips. And keep your eye out for the new Kinder Surprise!

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

City Mom

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