Small Success Thursday: A Screen-Free Day


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Today, I turned off the television, and the DS and the Xbox and the Kindles, the iPhone and the computer.  (Not all day, let’s not get crazy).  But I noticed these had become the preferred choice of leisure, even on a day with trees blossoming and sixty-eight degrees.  After turning off machines only to find them turned back on again by a different child, I declared the next day to be screen-free (during home hours not including homework).  There were the predicable bargains, groans and complaints.

Then everyone went outside.

At first, there was a listless “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do…” complaints, followed by the obligatory let’s take everything out of the garage, skates, kites, bikes, balls, bats, skateboards, jump ropes, bubbles, waterguns, Frisbees, scooters, wagons, hula hoops and then declare, “We’ve done it all.

I brought out ice cream in cups.  They sat together atop the plastic play house eating ice cream, doing nothing.  By the time they’d finished their treat, someone proposed tag and all the toys lay abandoned, as sure enough, the 11, 9, 8, 6, 4 and 13 year old played for a good hour before Mom required they stow the gear and come in for homework.

Being unable to be distracted, my children rediscovered the joy of each other’s company to the point of not being concerned with time, only the ongoing of the game and each other’s presence.

So my small success this week,was to get the idea to turn off the machines.   We’ll see if I can remember to do it again next week.   Have a great week full of small successes!

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Copyright 2015 Sherry Antonetti


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,


  1. It’s great to get outside! 3 times this week, the Kid and the Street Urchins have been running around the yard playing Kick the Can. Yes, they’re noisy. But they’re outside, running around and having fun. I love spring!

  2. Not sure I can call it a small success. But I survived a very challenging week. We moved my mom from her hospital to a skilled nursing facility, so spending the last seven days amidst the patients of that very special facility taught me a lot about life, family, and mercy.

    • Not a small success Lisa, a huge one. Prayers for your mom, and for those who care for all at the nursing facility, and for you and your family. Hugs.

  3. Awesome success in getting kids outside, playing, and using imaginations. I love that you pointed out that they rediscovered each other’s company. Excellent point! I was focusing on the fact that they were outside playing rather than in front of screens and hadn’t thought about how important just being together (really together!!) is. My successes recently (maybe this week, maybe last) include getting caught up on a ton of laundry and actually getting up at 4:30 AM one morning to go to Adoration in place of my husband (I’m not a morning person).

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