The summer days are nearly here and I’ve been thinking about grand ideas to do with the kids!
I want to be a good summer mommy that “unplugs” and doesn’t rely upon movies to get my kids through to the next school schedule. Anyone else with me on that one?
But what I know is that is pretty unrealistic. Our families are pretty “media-centric” now days and we are going to be online as moms, so telling our kids to do something we aren’t isn’t exactly the way to go. I can’t tell my kids to unplug and “live it up” this summer if I am going to have an intimate relationship with all my idistractions as they mini-golf, swim at the pool, and have a water balloon fight around the house.
Sometimes we just have to sit down together and look at the degree of our dependencies and see what we can do to have a healthy balance so that we ALL spend time with one another during summer break.
Completely banning tech for older children, when that may be their outlet to stay socialized during the summer months, will typically breed resentment. There will also be mornings where staying in bed and letting the kids watch a movie is seriously going to be the thing I am most grateful for that day! The goal isn’t to go pre-tech living, the goal is to find balance, develop good habits, and show love by achieving good, quality time with each other.
This past year one of my daughters made mention that it bothered her when my phone was in my hand when she was talking to me. I instantly put it in my pocket and we took out a sheet of paper. I asked her to draw how she felt and I would help her write the rules that she wanted to give me in regards to my phone. I promised to keep those rules for her sake because I love my relationship with her.
She still holds me to them and I love her for it!
This summer instead of getting rid of devices, each week consider and plan fun things that don’t involve technology. Do face to face activities. Make that quality time happen. Swim in the pool with them instead of tanning on the side scrolling, pick up the water balloon and play instead of snapping pictures, sign up for that bowling or art class along with them.
Maybe sit down and make some rules regulating technology that work for your family. Set a time limit on recreational tech. Try no-device dinner table time. Set up 15 minute phone time slots for teens so that their over all time is spent living in real life, yet they aren’t left friendless. Leave the house and do fun things outdoors if it will help set healthy habits with screen time.
(Our “Mandy Top” and “Liza Shorts” in blue chambary dots and blue chambary stripes.)
Lastly, there is something I have discovered. Sometimes my little girls will beg for a movie. They appear bored and think that is the answer. It naturally seems the easy fix. If I say no, they may moan a bit and still seem bored. But if I will WAIT, amazingly, they will begin to discover things around their room or outdoors that fascinate and spark playfulness. Before long, I hear little voices being creative and imaginative.
This summer let’s encourage child’s play ~ in our own lives, and in our children.
For Hannah Kate