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Parenting Tips

In honor of Character Day, take a #TechShabbat! That means taking one day this weekend (we do Friday sundown to Saturday sundown), to turn off all screens, including your phone, and spend time doing what you love, or being with people you love . . . without screens. We hope you'll do it four weeks in a row, because that's how you can truly incorporate this practice into your life.  Watch this powerful video regarding character traits and technology:
Tips for Your #TechShabbat 
When we talk about doing a Tech Shabbat, we can come up with all sorts of reasons why we can’t do it. It’s totally natural to put obstacles in front of ourselves, but uou can do this, and it'll be worth it. Here are some tips.

  1. Ask your friends or family to join. Having a Tech Shabbat pal or squad will help with both accountability and fun. It can be your family, a friend, colleague, neighbor . . . who do you want to spend time with?

  2. Make a list of things you wish you had more time to do. This becomes your roadmap for Tech Shabbat! Have those joining you do the same.

  3. Invite friends or family for a meal. Inspired by the Jewish Shabbat, kicking off Tech Shabbat with a table of love, humor, great food, and gratitude frames the whole experience.

  4. Announce your Tech Shabbat. Set up autoresponders for text and email, and let your social networks know with a fun "see you in a day" kind of #TechShabbat message.

  5. Write down phone numbers. If you need to make a call, landlines are allowed. (Think about having one installed if you don't have one already; it'll help you keep a regular Tech Shabbat practice, and landlines are handy for lots of reasons, including everyday emergencies like losing your cell.) Having a list of key friend and family phone numbers is a great idea. Add anyone you might have plans with during Tech Shabbat. 

  6. Print out maps ahead of time. Write down or print out directions before you unplug. If you get lost somewhere, talk to locals. Engaging with fellow humans is part of the beauty of Tech Shabbat.
  7. Find a non-phone camera. Wondering how you'll take photos of all the beautiful moments? Pull out an old camera or find a second-hand one that won’t break the bank. If this is going to be a weekly ritual, it'll be worth it. 

  8. Pull out some books, an instrument, art supplies, a journal, board games, a record player, a cookbook, a(n) _(fill in the blank)_. Think about all the things you love doing that don’t involve staring at a screen. That's Tech Shabbat. Make it yours.
Check out this website:
Teaching character traits can be challenging!  A Family's Guide to Teaching Good Character is thorough and informative and makes it easier for you to think of way to instill  traits like --  "Trustworthiness · Respect · Responsibility · Fairness · Caring · Citizenship"