Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Management; Unplugged

We just spent a week unplugged, Sunday late night thru Sunday late afternoon. It was fabulous.

I learned much:

* All the things I "run" by e-mail, didn't fall a part.
* Children really do need undivided attention and plenty of it.
* Quality vice quantity in relation to time with children is a fallacy.
* It is not possible to be present with a child whilst busy on a screen of any sort.
* Getting along takes time and effort, both of which are underrated in today's family life.
* No screen reads a book to a child quite like mom or dad.
* "Interactive" technology is no substitute for real interaction.
* What is lost in relationships can always be found if one is willing to wade through the discomfort and awkwardness without seeking the soothing comfort of coping mechanisms such as: tv, smart phones, computers, iAnythings, and busyness of mundane chores that really can wait.
* And much, much more.

In this "connected" world we live in we are often not connected with the right things. Being truly connected with our children takes time. Being plugged in is a supreme time sucker. It takes careful management to use technology and screens appropriately.

You never know when those precious moments are going to come that a child speaks to you about something that will influence their entire life. I have missed and brushed off many such moments because I was "busy doing important computer work." Intuition is best found when interference is at bay. There is much interference in today's "connected" world.

I didn't realize how much my lack of desire to play a game or read a book at a child's request was tied to my being elsewhere even though physically present. I thought I was just doing so much of it already that I needed a break, and that I had so many important things to tend to.

Is there really a limit to the good we can offer our children? Can there ever really be enough songs, books, and games? What is so important that it would take priority over my living breathing children? My desires have changed as well as my definition of "important things".

This here manager has unplugged and seen the light. Children need much less management when parents are present; physically, mentally, and emotionally. Managerial skills are best used to free up time for real life and interaction. Perfectly behaved robots that need you only when convenient or scheduled don't exist, but children are perfectly happy to be zombified by a screen when parents aren't willing to do the work and manage their time wisely.

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