Last week was designated by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood to be a screen-free one. Schools, families and other communities around the world were called upon to unplug from any entertainment-based screen devices, and to explore outdoor activities and quality human-human interactions instead.
For parents, teachers and caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed and are unsure about what the antidote to excessive tech-usage is, just remember that the simplest answer is the right one: reconnect with your kiddos by talking to them, walking with them, cuddling with them, dancing with them, and reading to/with them. More and more parents are finding themselves surprised by how thrilled their kids are when they (the parents) express a genuine interest in spending one-on-one quality time with them and a willingness to 'meet them' where they are at in their own world.
Here is the short version of the How's and Why's:
Help others (develop purpose & gratitude)
Move around (maintain physical health)
Connect directly (decrease stress & bond)
Notice what's here (be present & mindful)
Discover strengths (boost sense of competence)
Read a lot (increase literacy & sense of self)
Learn tech-free (reduce distraction & improve focus)
Be bored (improve imagination & self-regulation)
And here is the pretty version:
If you notice your initial reaction to this being something along the lines of: "Agghhh, here's yet another thing I have to do, let me just add that to my mile-long To Do list!," here is a thought from one of the world's leading happiness researchers to help you deal:
"... our intentional, effortful activities have a powerful effect on how happy we are, over and above the effects of our set points and the circumstances in which we find ourselves." Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky
Happy [tech-free] parenting!