Parking Technology instead of giving up Chocolate for Lent

It’s that time of year in which the Christian season of Lent is due to commence, (Wednesday 1 March), and families consider what ‘treat’ they are going to give up as a sign of their engagement with a 40 day period of abstinence.  It might be chocolate, or other such sweet treats, and for those that have not yet endured a ‘dry’ January, perhaps a few weeks without alcohol provides substitute.

Here in school we have largely ‘given up’ giving things up, and have for many years chosen to do something extra to make other people’s lives a little better. This has morphed into our 3 for 3 week, where the 3 schools seek to identify through their school councils up to 3 local charities they wish to support that enrich the lives of other children. And this work is certainly inspiring for many in our community, causing a vast array of activities spanning from the selling of cakes through to the massed spectacle of the B7 Fancy Dress walk.

So here’s my ‘little bit extra’ challenge for families and friends – I challenge you to ‘Park your Technology’ from bedtime to morning whilst at home. The idea is born of the many and varied tales we have now that adults and children in families are rather too wedded to their technology, their phone/handheld, being unable to be apart for more than a few seconds when at leisure. Now be that as it may, the reality would appear to be more sinister than just possession; indeed it is the very interaction with the device that is causing the development of addiction and symptoms of withdrawal in regular habitual users of such mobile technology.

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The deal is this – for no money at all, dear reader, you can claim your sticky ‘tag’ from me. This tag is of the indestructible, showerproof kind, usually used for wristbands. In this band’s case, it is designed to be stuck around the handle of a small basket as in the picture at the top, and used by families for family designed rules. You might choose to have it by the front door, so that all technology is deposited on entry (harsh), or perhaps at the bottom of the staircase so no technology is permitted upstairs (night-time perhaps) or by the side of the room where the family eats, so no technology is taken to the ‘table’ when eating and family time is taking place.

Here’s where you can request a ‘Reminder wristband’. http://schl.cc/2J

It’s for individual families to decide what to do – and to vary it as you think fit during the week and at weekend – the basic deal though is to ‘Park the Technology’ for some part of every day and see if that makes a positive difference to household conversation and family life.  I have 200 such wristbands, and I’ll send them to anyone, anywhere in the UK. Start date is 1 March 2017, and end date is when you choose, though hopefully not before Maundy Thursday 13 April.

The writer (that’s me by the way) is going for the ‘bedtime’ basket, and I started a week early just to check I can cope, and… so far, so good. Thanks for reading this far, and I look forward to engaging 200 people in my challenge!

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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