Are you and your teens due for a “Digital Detox”?
This summer I traveled down to Southern Utah for a month of camping and work. I was on course for most of the month, “Golf Course” that is. The last week of my time in Utah my 15 year old daughter joined me who, in my opinion, was in dire need of a Digital Detox. The nice thing about the horrendous roaming charges in the U.S. is that it gives us as parents an excuse not to allow them to use their phones too much. You have to make sure to avoid the areas that have free WI-Fi, like Walmart and McDonald’s, but it can be done. This was a time for the “Three F’s” – Forced – Family – Fun. We rented a jet ski for a day, spent a day of window shopping where a few items were purchased, and went hiking through Zion Canyon. You can check out the Gallery on the website to see some of the pictures. We then left for a week in Boise, Idaho where my wife joined us for another week on limited cellphone use. We rented a paddle board for a day and did some more hiking. We then slowly made our way home back to reality.
So what did I witness? Basically I was able to get my daughter back. Grade 10 was a not a good year for her and resulted in summer school, a change of schools, and new friendships being made. The Digital Detox was the cherry on the top. While on holidays some heart to heart talks were had between the two of us at a level that we have not gone to in the past. We have had a good relationship but this went to another level. Some promises and expectations were made and consequences discussed including the loss of her phone for a very long time if things went back to the old way.
Now when I do something for her she says thank you. When my wife drives her around she gives a heartfelt thank you which is not what was occurring before. She now hugs me instead of the other way around and will drive with me on some of the errands I have to do.
I was able to use the trip to implement the Digital Detox and it made it much easier for her to accept. But it is something that needed to happen. The question I ask is “Do you need a Digital Detox for you and your family?” I have met many people that are frustrated with their spouse’s social media usage or the video gaming or gambling or pornography. Some of these are resulting in the end of marriages because of the addiction to the digital world. Please consider this for your family’s sake.
Foundation: My wife and I met with a lawyer this summer with the goal of setting up a foundation. The name is “Thumb Switch for Life” and it is a very long process. If it is up a running by December of 2018 then we are doing well. The foundation will allow potential donors to obtain a tax receipt when they donate. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide scholarships to students that are doing very well in school but when you look at their home life and the support they have you wonder how they made it this far. These students are amazing and could qualify for post-secondary schooling but chances are it will not happen for them and it is mainly due to finances. This we hope will alleviate some of that obstacle.
The second purpose is raise money for all schools across Canada to assist financially for them to host Life Synergy workshops. There are two things that prevent programming from getting into school and changing and saving lives; the first is finances and the second is class time. If financial assistance can be provided then there is one less obstacle to overcome.
A Book for Parents?
If you recall in the June edition of The Villager, I mentioned that I had a goal of writing a book for parents based on the number of requests I was getting from session attendees. The purpose of camping for a month down south was to complete this book. The book is done and in the hands of the editor. I have no idea what the time line is but it will be posted on the website when it becomes available. The editor read it for the first time and commented that it took her right back to her high school days, so I think that is a positive.
A senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little gray hair he had left. Amazing, he thought as he flew down I-94, pushing the pedal even more.
Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a state trooper behind him, lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, What am I doing? I’m too old for this, and pulled over to await the trooper’s arrival.
Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch, and said, “Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a reason for speeding that I’ve never heard before, I’ll let you go.”
The old gentleman paused. Then he said, “Years ago, my wife ran off with a state trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.”
“Have a good day, sir,” replied the trooper.
Testimonial of the month:
Out of the Blue
I am currently a university student studying sociology and women and gender studies. During my seminar today, my professor asked the question, “What kind of mental health resources did your middle/high schools have? If there was, was there anything that really made an impact on you?” I instantly thought of your name, and “Life Synergy for Youth”, and knew I had to email you. You came to my middle school 7 years ago, and then to my high school 5 years ago in Bermuda. I haven’t heard your name in five years, and yet I instantly thought of you. During that period of my life, I was severely depressed with self-harm problems, and had attempted suicide by overdosing twice. It was your presentation that made me feel like I wasn’t totally alone in this world, and that my feelings were valid. I remember a specific photo you showed in your slide show; it was of the assets a teenager who committed suicide. One of their belongings, their wallet, was the same one I had…and that hit home. Your presentation and workshops changed my life, and stopped a very possible suicide death. I am 21 now, have an amazing, supportive partner, in my fourth year at University, happy, and working on my mental health every day. After I graduate this year, I am going to get my certificate in mental health and addiction services. I would like to do what you do, and work with youth to prevent kids from having to go through what I went through. You truly inspired me, and I cannot express my gratitude for you, and your amazing programs. Thank you for saving and changing lives with every presentation, every workshop, and every meeting with a student you have. You truly do save lives.
I hope to one day meet you and thank you in person, but until then, I hope you have a great evening and live the happiest life you can.