I believe one of the biggest challenges of parents raising children of this generation pulling them away from technology to create the opportunity for engagement with real people and natural environments. Our family has over the years implemented revolving and evolving rules dependant on age and necessity. The rules range from no devices before snacks, 1/2 hr of device time after homework, no TV during the week; and honestly sometimes the rules evolve daily based on the parent walking in the door, how distracted we are or how much energy we have to implement the rules (you parents know what I am talking about!) I also know my role is a parent is to guide my children as I am one of their biggest life influencers YET, I also relish my moments of device distraction time. So in our latest evolution of “managing” technology was the brainstorming of a list of “decompressing” activities. Basically the “decompressing” activities have to outweigh the time spent on computers, ipads and watching TV. My second enlightening moment was realizing that the decompressing devices are not just for my children! If you don’t have children and are reading this, the adults NEED this decompression as much as kids do! As a society we have a hard time sleeping, suffer from adult ADD and are feeling overwhelmed. So listen up adults, this list is for you too!
This was the last list we came up with as a family :
– Playing a board game with the family
– Going for a walk or offering to walk the neighbours dog
– Shooting pucks at the net or just playing outside in the backyard
– Making something with your hands (slime, drawing, airplane model, sewing)
– Sit quietly with an audio podcast (which we included because it was engaging audio which engaged a different part of the imagaination and brain)
– Bake muffins, prep veggies for the week
– Doing something physically active (swim, bike, scooter, basketball, soccer)
– Call a friend and go over to play at their house (and do not ask the parents if you can watch TV) – SOCIALIZE!
– Look in the newspaper and see what the city has on offer (warming huts, City clean up)
So this was our list – I encourage you to make your own list with your kids of more opportunities they can counteract the pull towards the devices and engage with LIFE! We would love to hear what you come up with!