I’m SO glad. I cannot even tell you.
I have been providing counseling services in the Wenatchee Valley for three years, and helping parents with their kids for about three decades in other ways, and I’ve seen over and over again, the pitfalls of our modern life.
I have NO intention of giving up my phone, computer, and tablet to move to the wilderness though, and I bet you don’t either.
That’s because we understand that our modern world is full of amazing technologies, that are truly beneficial for all of us. We don’t want to undo any of that.
But you might wonder if it’s having a negative effect on your kids.
I am hearing various noises that it isn’t harming our kids so much as it is their only way of getting unsupervised time away from adults to explore their relationships with each other, get social interaction without intervention from parents, and to feel that they have a life private from adults who “are the bosses” of them.
But at the same time, the vast amount of choices, options, information, news, threats to safety and to our world all combine to give kids mental overload that their underdeveloped brains just can’t manage well.
But in our busy lives (yep, I’ve got one too: Volunteering, community activities, church, family obligations) it’s really hard to carve out time to allow kids to just BE, and even harder to give them time to BE in NATURE.
The old-fashioned childhood of free roaming, unsupervised (“Just be home for dinner”) neighborhood play is gone.
We have to come up with something new to balance out the craziness our kids are facing in our daily lives.
Over and over I “prescribe” down-time and outside play in natural areas to my clients. And over and over I hear how it’s so hard to do.
So I’m doing something about it.
I’ve designed a full day workshop for six kids of school age (K-12th grade) whose parents want them to have what is so hard to give. DownTime.
They’ll get unstructured time (a lot of it) in nature, but also we will self-reflect, learn to interact with each other, go over communication skills, negotiating skills…basically the social and emotional information kids need, and what is lost in overly structured programs.
They will receive a journal, or “field guide for Down-Time” with ideas of how to alleviate boredom for a brain not accustomed to self-directed activities, information to refer to about responsible texting and emailing, tips for healthy boundary setting with peers, and discussion for developing the ability to self-reflect and tune into their “inner compass” of morals and values. And I’ll make sure you get a parental “field-guide” as well, so you can support your child to continue this journey of slowing down.
Please reply and let me know about you, your family, and your needs, and allow me to answer any questions you have about this program, an let me know if you’re interested in just one day or the entire series.
With each small group, it helps to know the personal challenges facing families today, so I can tailor each workshop to suit the participants.
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