Oct | 2017
Why Vacations that get Your Family off the Electronic Grid are so Important to Deeper Bonding
Tags: assessment, behavioral health evaluation, career assessment, emotional behavioral evaluation, family road trips; parenting; family dynamics; developmental psychology; deeper bonding, general psychological assessment, psychological vital signs
Parents are completely unprepared for the unchartered, shark infested waters they find themselves in these days. IPhones, iPads, laptops, and the ever present Wi-Fi, all act like sharks ready to devour any chance parents have of having a meaningful conversation with their child at any given moment. These days, even if you plan a road trip with your family, your kids could be completely preoccupied with using their electronics to stay in their cloistered, secret world, in the car. Children are becoming more and more like monks in an electronic monastery. But in stark contrast to religious monks, their goal is not to worship something greater, but to feed something small: their basest desires for what is often superficial entertainment.
How do we as parents navigate these very dark and troubling waters? Waters full of electronic predators ready to devour any attempt at having deeper conversations with your child. It is critically important that your family go on electronic holidays where electronics are put away and you actually get to KNOW each other. You actually have deep conversations about meaningful things – OR – you have ridiculous conversations about funny things.
Our family regularly makes a trip from Tucson, Arizona to our wilderness getaway in Durango, Colorado. One of our favorite places on planet Earth! After we pass Flagstaff, AZ, we enter the Navajo and Ute Native American reservations. For 3 to 4 hours we are off the electronic grid. That’s right, there is no wireless connection possible. Yiiipppeeeee!
My wife and I and our kids actually have some of the deepest conversations during this part of the trip.
While some of the funniest movies have been made about family road trips (Chevy Chase’s Vacation series of movies being some of my favorites), above and beyond the annoyances that come with being in a very small space for several hours together, there is a truth that is even more precious these days. This kind of forced intimacy – absent electronic predators encourages deeper bonding. We play all kinds of word games, share stories with our children and listen to the kids talk about what they really think about bigger topics.
A funny thing happens: It’s almost like we have entered some kind of magical place where everyone is focused on what is being talked about and nothing else. You know – a real back and forth conversation. Our world seems so wired that we are getting away from the idea of what a Real conversation is. In the past week, how many real conversations have you had with other people?
In short, no family should go without a road trip off the electronic grid! And the longer you’re off the grid, the better. Look for the most desolate places in our wonderful country, and chart a road trip right through it. Want to really go for it? Choose a vacation destination off the grid. I can tell you right now this will be a more and more popular way of vacationing as life becomes more and more insanely taken over by the Electronic Madness.
As you share compelling stories that give your kids a window into your life, you may just find and your kids may find – that they come to appreciate something they didn’t even know they were missing out on: a Relationship being cultivated.
So many parents forget that above and beyond material things like what sport your kid is playing and how many ribbons they’ve won and aside from what college they’re going to go to, the most important thing you teach your child is what a real relationship is and to teach them that they must experience these relationships regularly. That will serve them more than almost anything else they will learn in school! That way, they will understand how crazy the world is operating these days. They will be able to choose people who truly appreciate the need for a real relationship. Our relationship choices are the things that bring us the most joy and cause us the most pain. Not what our salary is, not what kind of house we live in, and not what car we drive.
Take your kid off the grid!!
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Dr. Brunner's "Good to Great" blog for parents and childcare professionals has gone viral and is spreading like wildfire! He is a Tucson, Arizona based behavioral scientist serving as a counselor/therapist, author, speaker, and consultant. He works with a broad spectrum of children and adults including those who are gifted/talented and enjoys helping families solve pressing growth challenges to unleash potential. He is an innovator who was awarded the Early Career Psychologist Award by the Arizona Psychological Foundation. Dr. Brunner is senior author of a behavioral science tool now adapted into 7 languages and author/co-author of numerous book chapters/scientific journal articles. As a speaker at local and national conferences, he is passionate about how behavioral science can precisely identify factors leading to sustained breakthroughs in performance. As a PhD Board Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Brunner has served as an expert witness in the legal arena and has been consulted by local and nationwide organizations. Dr. Brunner is the founder of a non-profit organization which is designed to help youth develop leadership character (Learn More). To read his bio, click here, see his resume, click here or to review his recent blogs, click here - See more by clicking here.