Mid-Missouri celebrates International Screen-Free Week

The Andelin Family celebrates International Screen Free Week. (KRCG 13)

May is Screen Free Month, and around the world this week, families are focusing on turning technology off and getting back to basics.

In this week’s Family First segment, KRCG 13 talked with SSM Health OBGYN Dr. Clark Andelin about how his family is celebrating international screen free week.

"With technology, you can be in the same room and still be alone,” he said. “Too much TV, or tablet time can isolate.”

Dr. Andelin said that's why he and his family focus on scree-free time whenever possible.

"First thing that I want to do and the kids want to do is play catch. They'll be jumping on the trampoline, and we have this little basketball that probably costs 50 cents from Walmart that we've used for years,” he said. “It's so fun to just throw the ball. To be outside, to get fresh air, we all look forward to it."

As a physician, Dr. Andelin doesn’t always have the option of turning his cell phone off.

He said it's his work as a doctor that has also motivated him to escape from screen-time whenever he can.

"Everyone who's lost a child, or been estranged from a love one in some way... They always say that you need to squeeze them every day. And I think just being present and mindful of them, and their life, and what their concerns are, it gives you a chance to talk with them," he said.

Dr. Andelin said you don't need to turn off technology forever. He said making an effort to regularly create screen free bonding time seriously benefits relationships between kids, parents, and siblings.

"It's amazing how just playing catch with a child can allow you time to have them open up and talk about things that are bothering them, or things that they really like, and have meaningful connections," he said.

Celebrate International Screen Free week with the Andelin Family - put down your phone, head outside with your kids, and maybe even play a little bit of trampoline catch. Watch KRCG 13 at 5 p.m. next Friday for our next Family First topic – we’ll hear from a physician about the importance of offering rewards other than screen-time.

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