(CNN) – While my kids mainline Instagram and feverishly text, update and Snapchat with friends, I count down the days until they go off the grid and the tech detox begins. This withdrawal from the sticky web of social media can’t happen without intervention, and what I mean by intervention is sleepaway camp.
In our technology heavy culture, face-to-face interactions are become the exception. This article (NY Times) articulates how just a couple days away from screens at camp help children connect to each other.
This summer, 10 million children are enjoying time at camp — half at one of the more than 2,400 accredited by the American Camp Association.
Parents spend a lot of time trying to motivate kids. We use chore charts, checklists, reminders and rewards to get them to feed the dog, clean their rooms and complete schoolwork. But these techniques don’t change behavior long-term. Real motivation must come from within.
Kids learn to make decisions at camp. Camp experiences grow confidence and develop good decision making skills — especially when times are tough. He also learns who to accept guidance from, in a world that’s filled with some pretty bad advice on TV, in movies and among some friends.
Some six million children in the United States are preparing psychologically to go away to sleepaway camp. Whether these departing children are camp veterans or nervous rookies, they are mentally rehearsing being away from mom and dad, their comfortable beds, their pets, favorite meals and, of course, their beloved iPhones, Facebook and video games.