Thanks to the hard work of an incredible team of parent volunteers, the Race to Nowhere screening was a great success. What emerged in the discussion afterwards, among other things, is that we and our children are running around like mad.
Child psychologist, career counselor, and guest panelist Sarah Henney said, “These kids are ALWAYS on the clock.” As the adults nominally in charge, we have to get them (and ourselves) off the clock…and with some regularity.
While we may not be able to break the cycle to this degree (an article tweeted on @OrchardMS at the beginning of the school year), we must provide frequent down time for our families, even to the point of boredom. Boredom, unless we avoid it with a screen, is a motivator. Boredom leads to creative play, and play–according to Madeline Levine as quoted in RtN–is the most important work of children.
In fact in his latest book, Tony Wagner argues that play helps kids to find their passion, and that their passion can in turn become the driving purpose in their lives. Having time to create, fail, reflect, and adapt is fantastic for children AND their parents. Consistently racing from appointment to appointment is not.
Whether it’s through a technology fast, committing to leisurely dinners together, backing off the extra-curriculars, walking in the woods on weekends, or some other way of slowing down, let’s make time to get out of the car, off of the Internet, and back into the life of the mind and the lives of our family members.
I wish you an unhurried week.