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Screen Time: The Creativity Killer

One father shares how a "drastic measure" greatly enhanced his daughter's creativity.

     As a parent, there is great truth in the statement, "drastic times call for drastic measures."  As my wife and I were experiencing some difficulty reigning in some "attitude issues" with our 10 year old daughter, I made a gutsy, and from the perspective of a "tween" unimaginable decision… I shut down access to all screen time.

No television.
No computer.
No kindle.
No ipad.
No video games.
No ipod.

     If it had a screen or was a source of electronic media, it was off limits.  Now, the heart of this blog has nothing to do with discipline.  It has everything to do with creativity.  What happened after my daughter was stripped of access to all screen time and media, was nothing short of remarkable!  In only one week, my daughter expressed herself creatively in all of the following ways:

*  Read two books.
*  Created handmade cards.
*  Wrote several songs.
*  Choreographed several dances.
*  Wrote a few stories and poems.
*  Created a website for tween girls (OK, this was screen time, but it was entirely in a creative way and under my guidance)
*  Played in the backyard in a "clubhouse" with the neighbors
*  Created necklaces for friends and neighbors.

     Now, I am not saying anything particular about my daughter, but rather that much of what this generation spends their time with may actually be limiting their creativity.  While I am not advocating a total shutdown of all media, it may be helpful to have seasons where we limit screen time in order to cultivate creativity. 

Warren Mainard is the lead pastor of Essential Church, a new church plant meeting at the South Bellevue Community Center on Sunday mornings.  His wife Leah is a voice and piano instructor in Issaquah.  Warren and Leah have two beautiful and creative children.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Margaret Santjer February 19, 2013 at 05:25 PM
This is great advice for adults, too, Warren. Shutting off the smartphone, with texts and email alerts, even for a few hours, is a good way to recharge. Thanks for the reminder.

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