For The Love of Connection
We love the month of February! From Valentine’s Day to National Random Acts of Kindness Day and even National Cherry Pie Day, February is jam packed with intentional moments of relationship and connection. And of course, a little pie as well! In a day and age where we are saturated with virtual connections, these holidays remind us the importance of human connection.
The Washington Post did a study in October that reports children under twelve average 4.75hrs of screen time each day. Teens average 7.5hrs of screen time per day, and these hours do not include screen time used for homework. Before we all walk to the next child we see and take their phones out of their hands, let’s talk about what we can do in the midst of this technological age. Screens dominate our face time and there are so many good things that come from easily accessible, hand-held computers. Every time I don’t have to print out MapQuest directions from my home computer, I am thankful for my iPhone! But we also know that our kids need space from the screens; they need moments of looking into each other’s eyes and building skills of communication, empathy and relationship building.
Every year, we have a few parents ask us if their child can keep their phone during camp. It’s always good natured and genuine. However, more than just a rule we’ve made, we are convinced that being a tech-free camp is essential in shaping the whole child. Giving kids a chance to step away from their screens and into fuller human connections with their peers and staff is deeply engrained in our mission. So as we reflect on these interpersonal holidays this month, we’re passing along a few activities that step away from the screen and help boost personal connection.
Try our camp classic affirmation circle! Whether you’re at the dinner table or in the car on the way to sports practice, have each person go around and say something they admire or appreciate in another person in the group. If verbal affirmations are hard for your kids, perhaps start with writing each other notes.
We all like to be asked questions. Talk about the art of asking good questions and how they can build friendships through them. Need help? Here’s an article on Question Asking.