Looking back, I can remember Sunday afternoons when we just sat at my grandparent's home and the adults talked... BORING! Well, to a kid. We kids went outside and created something to do. We didn't have DSI's or any hand held devices to keep us busy. We went...wait for it... OUTSIDE and created forts out of downed limbs or played tag or climbed trees.
Back in my day, okay I have officially become a part of the older generation, we only had one television. My dad often watched his sports so my siblings, my mom and I would play cards, a marble game called aggravation, or we went outside to look for the big dipper or catch lightening bugs. That gave us time to be together in a way that fostered social skills, communication, fun, and quality time. We actually saw each others faces!
It is important for families to reconnect with their kids in a way that will teach them the importance and the joy of powering down. During the recent ice storm many families were forced to power down. They reconnected and spent time together doing things they probably hadn't done in years. These are the memories your kids will have, the time that you spend with them and the times that they spend connecting with others.
I think that is why I love camping so much. You are given the opportunity to be quiet, take in the moment, breathe in the night air, and just gaze at the stars with your family and the families you meet along the way. It opens up time for stories, for real connections, and for you to really listen to your kids. Those are the times you see the excitement on their faces as they discover something new. You miss so much of their personalities, their development, and the areas that need correction when you lead separate lives within your own home.
Teaching your kids to be quiet, to appreciate nature, and to be appreciative time with others will not only make them well rounded individuals, it will be something that will enrich their lives and the lives of their children in the future.