The summer holidays are in full swing . . .
How’s it going? Managing to keep boredom at bay?
This can prove to be a problematic period and the challenges should not be underestimated. Entertaining offspring, day-in day-out, week after week, can be a tall order (trust us, we speak from personal experience).
It’s perhaps no great surprise then that the easiest option is the one so often taken . . .
The iPad. The laptop. The Xbox. The television.
Sit them down. Turn it on. Peace at last. Problem solved.
It’s an unfortunate fact, but it’s not quite that simple.
Overexposure to such activities can lead to certain issues, including anxiety, loneliness and depression. Moods can suffer, as can self-esteem. Concentration can be affected, so too the memory, whilst isolation can become a concern. Officials at Public Health England (as outlined in a previous post on this blog) believe spending too much time online can lead to mental health difficulties. The easiest option isn’t always the best option. Far from it, in fact.
This is the bad news. The good news is that now, the summer holidays, is the perfect time to do something about it. This is something we’ve been thinking about a lot in recent days having read an excellent post called Unplugged, that has just been named the latest Netmums Blog of the Week.
In Unplugged, the author (a mum-of-two called Sandy Calico) harks back to the summer holidays that she enjoyed during the 1970s . . .
‘The days were long and sunny,’ she writes. ‘We called for our friends and had adventures in the woods. We found monster caterpillars. We made camps in the garden. We rode our bikes around the village. We went to the park. We swung as high as we dared and jumped off onto the dirt. We sat under the trees and collected beech nuts. We played in the grass cuttings. No-one wore a watch. No-one had a mobile phone. How I would love my children to experience that kind of summer. I want us to go out and get hot playing football, cricket, badminton and golf. I want us to walk, run and cycle. I want us to eat picnics, hide in the long grass and find banks to roll down’.
This is something that has struck quite a chord here.
The world has changed a great deal since the 1970s, that much is true, but a summer such as this is still possible.
Moreover, a summer such as this offers immense benefits to our children . . .
To their physical health. To their mental health. To their development. To their happiness.
It strikes us that this is something that, as parents, we should all be striving to achieve . . .
Switching off the consoles and computers, tablets, telephones and televisions. Getting off the sofa. Going outside. Going unplugged.
Improving our relationships, enjoying our families. Having fun, making memories.
Encouraging interests. Helping with hobbies. Using a little imagination to help pass the time. Spending the summer like it’s the 1970s again. Remember those holidays? They always used to fly past.
There’s so much to do out there – so much to do together – that there’s not enough time to be bored . . .
Give it a try, go unplugged. There are easier options, for sure. But – in our opinion, at least –none can compete.