Quality versus Quality
Lately, much attention has been given to terms like “digital detox” and the idea of completely unplugging. While the idea sounds nice, getting off the grid, it’s usually a short-term solution as smartphones and computers are now a regular way of life.
For most people, unplugging indefinitely isn’t an option. We need our phones for work, school and sometimes just to get in the front door our house. At Summerland Camps, we help families set up healthy boundaries with technology and focus on quality over quantity.
While there is some debate on wither educational apps are actually benefiting young children, older school-aged children will need computer and internet time for homework and research. But it is important that work is the focus of screen time; that is doesn’t become 30 minutes of mindless Facebook scrolling or a black hole of YouTube videos.
We need to teach our kids how to be task-oriented and be mindful of their time management. It’s also important when we choose to use technology for entertainment to self-regulate and use limitations that a 10 hour Netflix binge is unhealthy while watching a movie on a rainy day in between other activities isn’t necessarily bad.
At Summerland, teach campers how to self-monitor and regulate screen activity, so they can see if they are spending too much time on screens and make changes accordingly. We focus on developing strategies help campers become better students who are self-regulated in their behaviors.
Our program not only teaches young students the self-regulation skills to avoid endless hours of video games, it also helps them become better planners and teaches them the goal-setting process– in invaluable skill for any person to have. We also offer family workshops where we work with parents to assess what their family’s relationship is with technology and what changes they can facilitate in their home to create a healthier more balanced environment.
Campers can return home with their devices set up with reasonable, agreed upon limits in place. With the assistance of the camper’s behavioral coach, parents have contracts in place with their kids upon discharge and they will have the knowledge of how to monitor and limit technology use. After benefiting from the parent workshop, parents have a research supported understanding of what consequences technology overuse can have on teens. Our goal isn’t to throw phones away and start living like its 1950, but rather help families have a positive medium in the modern world.