Easter this year saw us revisit our camping ground at Halls Gap for another fabulous long weekend of family, friends, fun, chocolate, wine, food and more food. I say camping ground but for those that know me you are probably aware camping is not a common practise of mine. We were in fact staying in fairly comfortable 2 bedroom cabins but that is not really the point. That aside, my trip to The Grampians also by default ensured I had a good practice run for my weekend of disconnecting to reconnect. It soon became apparent my phone had very little service for phone calls and texting and zero access to the online world. Usually a catastrophe of epic proportion! Instead I took a deep breath and decided to enjoy the novelty. As an added bonus there was no xbox, Wii or Minecraft so the kids had to find other entertainment as well. Not that they found this difficult as there were so many kids and so much space to play they never really had time to get bored.
The kids played footy, had easter egg hunts, went in search of kangaroos and had running race after running race after running race .
It is a great weekend for our kids to connect. To connect with us and to connect with friends. A few years ago the kids all decided to build a cubby house on the grounds. They proudly made a sign that said ‘Kids Cubby’, carefully displayed it atop their house and showed off their engineering feats with great pride. The owner of the park kept their sign and every year on our return he brings it out for the kids to rebuild their masterpiece.
And as for me. I actually didn’t miss the technology like I thought I would. Sure there was some frustration when I couldn’t receive or reply to messages, but I got around it.
Once again it showed me that if our kids are left to their own devices they can make their own fun. We are forever berating the laziness and lack of creativity of our kids today but in essence they are no different to us. We just didn’t have the access to the easy entertainment our kids do today. It is up to us as parents to give them the opportunities to explore, connect, to create , to get bored, to try other things.
That is why I am passionate about getting my kids to disconnect to reconnect this Mothers Day weekend. We know the benefits of having a break physically and emotionally from the technology and we are more aware of the importance of time limits and balance when it comes to being connected to the online world.
For more information on Disconnecting to Reconnect, go to last weeks blog post and check out the D2R facebook page. Aside from the personal benefits of disconnecting, the campaign will raise much needed funds for the very special work done by Edmund Rice camps in giving disadvantaged kids the individual care and attention and mentoring at organised camps around Australia. To dontate go to everydayhero.com.au/martine_oglethorpe. My role as spokesperson for Disconnect to Reconnect is completely voluntary.
What sorts of things does your family do together that doesn’t involve technology?