a challenge that the kids take on, but harder for the parents

In Valdallière, Calvados, several university students have agreed to take part in the “Ten days without screens” challenge, an operation created in Quebec that has been under development in France for a few years. A rich teaching experience for these teens and their parents, who are not necessarily the most persistent.

Jade’s tablet has been resting under the coffee table for several days. The battery is flat and a layer of dust has covered the screen. His portable console is also dormant, neatly stored in the case. Its owner, a student at Anne Frank College in Valdallière, rediscovered other hobbies when she returned from school. “I painted, I drew, I read, I made a little pencil holder bird.“Like many of her classmates, she voluntarily participates in the ‘Ten Days Without a Screen’ challenge, and as the end of the tunnel approaches, the young girl shows no particular impatience or excitement.It could have lasted two to three more days“, she assures. And on?”Maybe not..

Operation “Ten Days Without Monitors” was launched in 2003 in Quebec. A few years ago, she crossed the Atlantic to settle in France. In 2008, about 30 companies participated. Four years later, there are nearly 241, across the country. More than 30,000 children and young people try to do without screens whatever they are (tablet, phone, computer, console, television) for ten days. Only exception allowed: work (researching information for a presentation on the Internet for example). “The goal is to offer students, at home, in their homes and families, to realize that screens are a tool, but also an addiction today. And make them think of other ways to pass the time“, Explains the professor.

For the teaching team behind this experiment, the first results are positive, also within the class itself. “I found that some students seemed less tired of me. Turning off the screens at night gave better sleep and a little more attention.“When they debrief with their teacher, the young teens agree. In addition to having discovered or rediscovered other professions, experience has enabled them to renew certain ties. With each other, first and foremost. At home to exchange on social networks,”in college we talked more between us “, says Jade“At dinner, it was good because all of a sudden we were not just discussing youtube. We were talking a little bit about college, evaluations.

When students looked up from their screens, they also rediscovered their loved ones. “We can discuss with our parents, we can no longer exchange“, Romane testifies,”Sometimes there are things we have never done before. Before, when my little brother came home from school, I did not want to play with him because I was on my phone.“With the screens off, it’s a bit like family life being reborn.”I got time with my daughter, smiling with my daughter, I got communication and listening“, rejoices Vanessa, Jade’s mother,”She really took the time to listen to me and we took the time to talk. She was not behind her screen to answer me: yes-yes. There was talk and interest, interest in the little things in everyday life like coming to cook, the little things in everyday life that screens disturb.

Adults were encouraged to lead by example. The teachers bowed to the challenge. “Sometimes, like the students, it was hard“, the professor recognizes,”more out of habit than out of necessity. Habits are rooted.“And when the teacher asks his students if their parents played the game, it’s a ‘No!’ That resounds in the classroom in the middle of laughter.”Mom, she has her little show that she likes to watch. Sometimes when I ask too many questions, she says: I turn on the television. So I have to go into my room”Says one student.The (the adults) have their own little habits“, Ruben analyzes,”They always do the same thing, they always watch the same programs at the same time.“Generational clashes between the children of TV, linearly, and their offspring fed on the Internet and video on demand services.

I tried, but I admit I was not as diligent as my daughter. I broke down“, Recognizes Vanessa, Jade’s mother,”After dinner, in the evening, I turned on the screen to watch my movie. “And to defend myself:” But we tried to help Jade in the longest days where there was no school, no activity where she was at home with U.S.“However, the family mother is in favor of limiting the screen time for her children.”For an entire summer, I had banned my kids from anything that was tablet or laptop, ”Vanessa recalls,“ When they found themselves at the beginning of the school year, they came home a little annoyed. They explained to me that they had been put aside a bit, in a certain way, because they did not know of such a youtuber or such a video. Jade felt outside. After all, monitors are important in their social lives. We can not do without.“Not to do without, but maybe not to leave them all over the room, for sure.

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