Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kids Unplugged

Teddy is his favorite class,
Ecomnomics with Mr. Lud
In our home my husband and I are the perpetual managers of four very active and tech savy kids.  Despite the fact that I agonize over it; they are often plugged in.  By many family standards I have probably done OK, mindfully keeping them active in outdoor play, athletic activities, time with friends, and family connections.  But the challenge is daunting especially since the world they live in perpetuates that plugging in is appropriate.  Even in school they now sit at a desk with  computer notebooks. 

I think the biggest problem is trying to find a healthy balance.  But what is that? As a child I had one computer in our school library that I got to sign up for once a month (yes, I am dating myself).  My kids roll their eyes when I talked about those ancient days but it was not something my parents ever had to worry about.  No monitoring of cell phones, computer time, or even TV was necessary back then.  The technology in their lives never rests and taunts them with continuous updates to keep them even more tech-connected. My kids just installed fliptoast on my computer so we can get status updates from Facebook right on our desktop erasing even the slightest inconvenience of logging in. What’s next?  In their world the “next” is only days away.

And admittedly, there are times I appreciate the convenience of technology for my family.  After school texts from the older three clue me in to what they are doing for after school activities and when they need a ride. Big time saver and mind-easer for mom.   

Treasured time on the trails.
Still, there is a need for mind clearing in their lives. Some bit of simplicity.  That getting lost in the bookstore feeling, or a long hike through the woods with the dogs. I long for these opportunities myself to keep my self centered and balanced.  As products of my upbringing I can only imagine that their souls crave it too.

Lately I’ve noticed two of my daughters find their zen time in their musical instruments.  Similar to my time on a yoga mat; they can become lost either on the piano (Kiki- 14) or strumming a guitar (Grace -12).  This is literally magic to my musically untrained ears.  Last week I took some video of both of them playing.  Because I was there, camera in hand, it erased  the emotion of music that I hear when I’m listening behind their closed doors. That’s when they really allow themselves to get lost in what they love……unplugged.      

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