‘Beautiful changes in a short time’: This family is getting off screens for the better

‘Beautiful changes in a short time’: This family is getting off screens for the better
‘Beautiful changes in a short time’: This family is getting off screens for the better

To lighten the mood at home, a family from Montérégie challenged themselves to take a month-long screen break last May. The experience was so positive that the clan is continuing the exercise and now wants to inspire other families.


Photo Maude Larin-Kieran/Agence QMI

“When you see such beautiful changes in a short time, you tell yourself that it’s worth it. It allows us to communicate more with each other,” explains Anabelle Reiber, who shared her experience on TikTok, generating hundreds of reactions.

The mother had noticed that screens were causing the members of the Montérégie family to be more “in their bubble,” confirms the youngest of the Reiber family, Rose, aged 12.


Photo Maude Larin-Kieran/Agence QMI

“Sometimes we would watch a series, and then Mom would ask us for a favor. Often, I would say yes, but I wouldn’t go because I was too fixated on the series,” she explains.

Screens can create barriers with the world around us, which can make communication more difficult, says Carolanne Campeau, screen risk prevention advisor for the PAUSE campaign.

“It can affect the quality of the exchanges we have as adults, but the same thing as children, between brothers and sisters, because it replaces the need to exchange with others,” she explains.

Hard to hang up

According to a Léger survey published in June, 90% of Quebec parents would like to reduce the time spent in front of screens for themselves and their family.

Of these, 37% say it would be difficult for them to do so, the survey reveals.

Anabelle Reiber’s children had no choice but to find other activities to do to replace the time they spent on the tablet by going “in the pool” [en allant] play outside or [en écrivant] “stories,” explains Anastasia, aged 11.

The clan does, however, allow itself to watch a movie as a family on Friday evenings. Short periods of screen time are also permitted on weekends.

To try in summer

The summer period is also the ideal time to try the experience, says Carolanne Campeau, since young people are exposed to more activities that allow them to wean themselves off screens.

“It is necessary at least that [les premiers jours de sevrage soient] as stimulating as what the screen would give [aux enfants]”It’s a high level of stimulation,” she explains.

The specialist suggests going to festivals or going camping. For its part, the Conseil québécois des services éducatifs à la petite enfance suggests building huts with sheets, doing a treasure hunt or even making kites.

«[En été] “We have lots of activities happening here and there, we also have more access to the outdoors. We need fun activities,” she reiterates.

The pause organization also provides resources for families who would like to disconnect on the site pausetonecran.com.

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