Families need time together, away from their media devices

10 simple ways to help your family unplug and reconnect this fall. Herald Times Online, August 31, 2015.

A light-hearted and yet telling article. As the author points out, families are now inundated with media in many shapes and sizes. The key now is for families to face this problem squarely and work quite consciously and deliberately to reclaim their kids and their families. She suggests a number of common sense ways to do this, like jumping in leaf piles or walking through corn mazes.

Though some seem obvious and can generally be characterized as families planning fun outings as a family, too many families let their kids fall hour after hour every day under the spell of their media machines and forget that contact with parents is truly important for kids.

One of the key problems of course is that the parents themselves share the compulsive media seeking behaviors of their children. They make up excuses for themselves not being available. Also, if their children show trends toward resisting family outings, parents are often readily cowed into backing off. Another factor is the fact that as kids approach the teen years, often their moodiness is difficult to be around, and so it becomes an excuse to back off and let the child lose himself in the media without end.

But it is especially in the preteen and teen years that it is crucial for parents to remain connected with their kids. Playful ways for parents and their children to do activities together and remain connected are especially crucial.