Disconnect in Order to Reconnect
Let’s make a box with the authors’ names and titles:
By Gevonne Blum: family engagement resource teacher, Brevard Public Schools, and Ginny Gleason: parent, family, and community engagement resource teacher, Brevard Public Schools
When was the last time you checked your screen time report? Sadly, 2020 can be blamed for the huge amounts of time we have all spent behind one type of device or screen. Working from home, virtual learning, and keeping up with current events accounted for many of those screen hours.
Then, add on the much-needed escapes from reality, and many more hours were spent on Netflix, Hulu, scrolling Instagram and playing our favorite phone games. Regardless of age, we are all guilty of remaining connected for more hours than we would care to admit.
There is no better time to disconnect than during the holidays. Allow yourself and your family to disconnect from work, school, and the digital world, and instead repurpose that time to reconnect with one another. Celebrate how hard you have worked as a family to get through trying times! Reward each other not with expensive gifts but instead by being present in the moment when spending time together. Your children deserve your undivided attention. The number one present on their list this year will be your love and acknowledgment. That costs nothing.
Designate time each day to get outside with your children. A quick walk with the dog in the morning or a leisurely “walk and talk” after dinner. Moments like this allow everyone to be distraction free and engaged with one another.
Also consider setting aside one-on-one time with each child, if possible, to make them feel extra special. Our spouses would appreciate a time to reconnect, too. Do not forget the power of a date night. Parenting is a hard job and even harder to do when your support system is struggling.
Work together as a family to lower the usual expectations of the holidays and instead focus on relaxing, going with the flow, and sincerely expressing gratitude for all the good things in your lives. The true gift of the season is your family. Enjoy the simple moments and take the time to recover from a year that was filled with so many different experiences, too much screen time, and emotions. Together we can get through anything and that is what family is for.
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