Free kids from technology this summer
“We have a rule when our grandsons visit. No technology,” said my friend Carolyn about when the boys, ages 7 and 9, visit their grandmothers’ pond-side home. “They put the video games away for the week and find other things to do.”
The boys’ older sister and a friend came also came to visit the two grandmothers, Carolyn and her wife Carole. The teens were allowed to communicate by cell phone with friends back home, 200 miles away.
“The cell phone is such a big part of teenagers’ social connections,” said Carole. That’s a decent compromise, especially because the teens agreed to visit to grandmas’ house.
All four kids enjoyed old-fashioned pass times, like playing hide-and-go-seek with kids in the neighborhood, playing board games and splashing around in the pond.
The boys are normally glued to gaming consoles.
Some camps have a similar ban on video games, cell phones and portable devices. Technology is prohibited at Beam Summer Camp in Strafford, NH, just east of Concord. The remote location and lack of plugs make technology use nearly impossible.
“I couldn’t get cell phone reception,” said my daughter Kristen, 24, who led two afternoon “domains” at the camp where students choose what project to work on every afternoon. Beam Summer Camp oozes creativity — without technology.
Some families have technology-free Sundays. What would happen at your home if everyone — parents included – took a break from technology for a set time each week?
How do you manage technology use in your family? Have you brought up the issue at family meetings and asked for input? Are TVs and computers in common areas of the home and not sequestered in bedrooms? Do your kids self-monitor agreements made or are you judge, jury and police officer?
When you shut down technology, be prepared to allow boredom, from which creativity emerges. Daydreaming, reading, and staring at a spider’s web calm the soul.Explore posts in the same categories: boredom, set boundaries, summer vacation, teenagers comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.