Last week, I heard esteemed author and clinical psychologist Dr. Wendy Mogel speak. She is the bestselling author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and numerous other books, including her newest work Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Listen.
Summer camp was high on the list of topics covered by Dr. Mogel. She talked about the importance of getting children outside and away from the ominous screen.
My children spent seven weeks away at sleep-away camp in upstate NY for nine summers. They didn’t have access to screens for 50 days. Imagine. 50 days. They came home transformed, present, focused, creative, and helpful. They looked me in the eyes when they spoke, actually listened, and engaged in conversations with interest. They asked questions, helped me in the kitchen, willingly did their chores, and get this…they even inquired about my day!
Who were these children and what happened to mine?
The above paragraph is embarrassing to write. It insinuates my children are poorly behaved. It insinuates I am a mother who cannot say no to her children. To me, these post-camp characteristics ought to be required of every child and healthy family dynamic. Still, the gravitational pull of technology is huge and hard to fight. I see firsthand how it affects my children’s brain chemistry. It robs them of precious creative time, of good communication, and solid leadership skills.
Your children are younger than mine. My dedication to emotional intelligence being a therapist and seasoned mother only go so far. Take Dr, Mogel’s advice and remove your children from screens this summer. You don’t have to go to sleep-away camp for 50 days. Start with day camp. Get them outside, let them sweat, roll around in the grass, and get their hands dirty. Let them play in the mud, soak up some sun, and chase clouds in the sky. Allow them to be kids and enjoy the developmental stage of play–acting, running, chasing, creating, and wondering. If they miss it now they’ll revisit it later. And later might be too late.
They will grow up soon enough.
They will be good enough.
Dream BIG Day Camp has a few spaces available for June and July. Lets change your child’s brain chemistry together ww.dreambigdaycamp.com/a-typical-day-dream-big-day-camp/.