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  • Marissa Parker Gold

Disconnecting for the Sake of Family

Recently I spent a weekend with my daughters, my husband and the rest of the third grade families from my older daughter’s school, at family camp. The idea was to disconnect from the world, spend the weekend out in nature and learn about and re-connect with each other.

In the “closing circle” moments, the head of school, asked us to reflect on what the weekend meant to our families and share our favorite part about the previous 48 hours. As each family (all 41 of us) shared what the weekend meant to them, it became wildly clear to me, how desperately we all want and need to disconnect from our fast-paced, technology-obsessed, minutiae-oriented lives.

Some of my favorite comments included:

“I loved watching my child(ren) run around, be free to explore and have fun.”

“I loved not being worried about where my child was or who they were with, at any moment, day or night.”

“I loved seeing my children so happy without any technology or forced activities.”

“I loved watching all of our kids just be kids…”

For two full days, approximately 100 adults and 225 children ran around in nature, played with each other, explored a camp they hadn’t been to before, ate foods they hadn’t experienced before, and shared in new traditions. We all really enjoyed each other’s company and we were present with each other to feel one another's real presence.

The adults played football and soccer with their children. Moms and Dads cheered on their boys and girls as they reached the the soaring heights of a ropes course/tower and families got to know teachers and Administrators outside of the classroom environment – a gift that we should all be fortunate to have because our teachers and Administrators are first and foremost, human beings like us.

What a privilege for all of us to get to know each other in this way – where we slowed down, talked and listened to each other. Where we appreciated being in each other’s presence. What a gift this weekend was and how I wish we could do this so many more times each year. It served as a reminder, to me, how necessary it is to slow down, disconnect and just “be”. I hope you can find some time to do the same.

Parenting: Get Into It!

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