Ask any parent and most children get more screen time than they probably should. For every parent that has learned the hard way to disable in-app purchases, this is for you Jason has 25 years' experience helping others, particularly children, adolescents and families. Using his love of surfing, Jason reminds his clients about the benefits of discovering life away from a screen. There are experiences to enjoy in the real world; with real people.
Here's some ideas for a screen-free afternoon:
1. Kitchen aid: kid-friendly recipes like pizza, biscuits or cake. Allow them to roll out the dough and decorate with favourite toppings. They feel proud of their accomplishment and will eat what comes out of the oven.
2. Gardening: Fresh air, getting the hands and feet dirty is the ideal attraction for children. They can keenly observe their parents working, asking them questions about plants.
3. Outdoor games: Soccer or basketball provide vital skills. A trampoline, frisbees, skateboards, and even fence painting mean children tire themselves out and eat well too.
4. Indoor games: Lego boosts their creativity skills and board games are fun for family bonding. Puzzles, Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, sock wars are all great choices. Ask Jason about the Blind Potatoes game. Your family will never be the same!
5. Helpers: Children can be great helpers in household chores, such as vacuuming, dusting or sorting the laundry. These chores can be transformed into "fun activities" or pocket money earners for kids.
6. Arts and craft: consult books for ideas. Check your recycling bin for things that can be used for projects. (You could also check pinterest for specific ideas or just putting some playdough, paper, pencils, textas, etc out for them. Maybe you could help the children make their own playdough before they start playing)
7. A side by side activity: For teens, going for a walk, driving in the car or cooking are good activities that can be enjoyed side-by-side instead of intently facing one another. Even helping fix a car or repair something in the garage can provide good opportunities to talk while you are both busy.
8. Read/write a book: Cuddle with a book! Children can be inspired by a book and write or draw their own book.
9. Look at home videos or albums: Children love watching themselves from earlier ages and the whole family can get a good laugh seeing their own videos from yesteryears.
10. Enjoy a bath: Fill up the tub with warm water, pour in coloured bubble bath and their favourite water toys. Play some fun mood music.
Jason Crestani, Psychologist
There are many reasons we feel justified in holding onto a grudge or unforgiveness. Anger may keep difficult emotions away for a time, but it's temporary, and when it's gone an emotional flood may follow.
Keeping a grudge takes a lot of time and emotional energy. Sometimes people fear letting go of it, often because we have rehearsed the hurt or betrayal over and over like a movie. Yes the idea of letting go and moving on can be terrifying. We become all too familiar with our self justified misery. We may feel that the other person does not deserve forgiveness. We may be holding onto that memory to ensure no-one can get close enough again to hurt us like that.
Yet we also deserve the freedom to move on, and by letting go we have the opportunity to embrace the present and the future. We can also use the energy expended on that grudge or resentment to care for ourselves and move forward. It also means the offender cannot keep hurting or controlling our emotional growth. We no longer allow them to chain us to the past keeping us a victim. We become a survivor, we are victorious and by taking that path we can start to heal and grow stronger.
Letting go is not always easy and just like quitting smoking we may need to try several times - but why hold onto thoughts of bitterness, revenge and resentment. Old toxic relationships and keeping open those fresh woulds are not what we deserve. Consider choosing to live life free from the heavy burden of resentment and the toxic effect of unforgiveness.
Every time we let something go free we are also freeing ourselves of the heavy burden of dragging that baggage around that is in turn causing us to be bitter and weary.
You may find it helpful to talk to a counsellor who will partner with you as you take this journey of freedom. Think about it. Let go and begin to build a better tomorrow.
Ref: Debby and Bob Gass: The Word for Today, 2013.
Kristin Armstrong, Work in Progress, 2009.