Final jeopardy answer, under the category “Average teenager with a cell phone”
Answer “2617” (key in jeopardy music)
Question; “What is the average number of times young people touch, swipe, or tap their phones in one day?”
My thoughts go to the word “Boundaries” What are they? Who establishes them? Why are they there? President J.F.Kennedy stated “ Don’t ever take a fence down, until you know the reason why it was put up.” In the realm of parenting, boundaries are extremely important to establish the routines that will create the necessary life skills in a growing individual.
Cell phone use seems to have no boundaries. Children, at a progressively earlier age, are being allowed to touch, swipe and tap their phones during dinner, late at night or at any other available moment.
Tristan Harris, former design ethicist at Google, expressed his concern that the hijacking of people’s minds and weaknesses occurred when you can persuade people to keep scrolling, clicking, watching the next thing.
I immediately think of Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may
discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable
and perfect. (ESV)
The mind must have fences built to guard it so that it does not conform to the world’s every whim and desire. The role of parents is to determine the value of screen time versus Scripture time.
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
Psalm 101:3a (ESV)
Can we take God’s words seriously? It is telling us that it's not just “BAD” stuff that we are to be wary of, it is also the mindless garbage that does nothing to add value to our life or service to God. The intentionality of this concept will create the parameters that will allow a young mind to grow and experience the richness of the world God has created. As parents it is time to flesh out this command and set up the fences that the children need.
All we like sheep have gone astray… we need fences to protect us all.
Brett Ullman has a great talk on Tech in the family. You can watch it at this link if you are looking for some practical help.
We are constantly rating or ranking things.
TripAdvisor wants to know how satisfied I was with the hotel room. Yelp asks my ranking of a restaurant or business. Amazon wants me to review their products. Over and over I am asked to state the value of goods and services, as I see it.
Have you ever thought to compile a survey for your home life? Have your children rank items that you deem important. How will it compare? Great conversation starters and eye opening information.
The Love and Logic Institute rated the following items for parents; Homework, grades, sports, chores, parent-child relationships. It once again resonates the fact that many people have their priorities on the wrong things. You can read the article here.
So what did you think of their article?
On a scale of 1 to 10?
The comedian’s comment goes something like this: “”Why do we park on driveways, but drive on parkways?”
Traffic. It’s almost as popular subject as the weather or politics. Here at PCS the first month’s most common discussion is probably about the traffic congestion in our pick up circle. As new parents and past parents adjust to their pick up schedules, inevitably, there are crunch times when our available space is pushed beyond its limits.
So as we settle into our old/new routines, here are several things that can be considered to help ease the pain.
- As a school we are putting more staff outside, in the circle, to make you feel more comfortable at moving past other cars or even jumping ahead as people slow down.
- We all need patience. It is great that more people are carpooling. Less cars. However, please understand that since the staff can not buckle up the children, that one driver must make sure their passengers are all safely in the vehicle. This sometimes requires getting out of the car and thus the line slows down. As we identify these larger carpools we are going to try to make a special pullover spot out of the normal flow so as to reduce the congestion.
- By 3:30pm there are very few cars in the line. Maybe you could adjust your time? Have a coffee at Tims and then come to pick them up? A little “me time” is good!
- Please pull up as close as you feel comfortable to the car ahead. This will open up more spots.
- Above all be patient with each other. There are over 20 new families who are trying to adapt to a new system.
- If you are sitting in line, why not pray for the school, your children and their teachers and even for your own family. (Eph. 1:16, 6:18). A great way to redeem the time.
Thank you for all the suggestions that have come in to help address the issue and we will keep at it until this clears up. Traditionally it takes a week or two to work through the new process so we are confident things will work themselves out.
One cautionary safety note in closing. There have been some of our families blocking the traffic light intersection trying to make a left. This is illegal. If a disgruntled plaza patron reports this it may result in police presence and ticketing.
Just following up on our last blog with another hands-on, practical approach for families as you prepare for coming back to school. There are so many other things we can do, than just worry about purchasing back-to-school supplies. We thought it would be a good idea to provide some great ideas we have seen, heard and read about that can help prepare yourselves and your children for the first day of school - which, by the way, is Tuesday, September 3rd - only 25 days away. (Sorry if that caused you to have a moment of panic!)
Summer is a great time to relax, enjoy family time and get out of the routines of the everyday hustle and bustle. However, waiting until the Labour Day Weekend to try and get yourselves ready and back into the school routine is pretty hard on the system. Here is a list of things to consider or try as you prepare:
- Get back into your sleep routine - We have all been there. Trying to get up earlier. Going to bed earlier. Your child’s sleep routines have been thrown off over the summer - maybe going to bed later than during the school year and sleeping in when they want to. Just switching gears will be difficult. Start working on those earlier bedtimes and earlier wake ups as you get closer to the first day back. There are some studies out there that suggest it takes about three weeks to change someone’s regular schedule.
- Shop for school supplies together - Having your children involved in this process can be fun. Have them start by creating a list of what they think they will need. Compare it to the school supply list afterwards and suggest the things they’ve missed and maybe ask for a reason for the things they added. For older students, have them look through the “Back-to-School” flyers and price out what they need. Maybe add a budget component to the task.
- Connect with friends - This may be one of the more enjoyable parts of getting back into school mode. For some students, it has been a while since they have seen some of their school friends. Maybe plan some play dates. Or, one suggestion I saw was a “Back-to-School” “End of Summer” party. This works great for connecting with other parents as well.
- Start cutting back on screen time - Not everyone has had a summer filled with camps or cottages. Some students have spent a lot of time consuming media of all sorts on screens - TV, video games, YouTube, Netflix, etc, etc. Similar to the sleep routines, if you limit your child’s use of screen time during school, you may want to begin implementing the limits gradually over the coming weeks in preparation.
- Review last year’s results / Set goals - A report card is a funny thing. I remember being so worried about my report card and, after a couple of days, all would be back to normal and we would never talk about that report card again, until the next one came out. One suggestion is to use the report card as a review of what went well and what needs work. Having a conversation and using the results to try and set some reasonable goals for the upcoming year will help to understand expectations, as well as set priorities and develop an important step towards ownership of the results.
- Get organized - The week before school starts, make sure all of your supplies are ready to go. Lunch box and new backpack? Pack everything together and add things as you pick them up. Waiting until the night before adds more stress than anyone needs.
- Make an after-school plan with your kids - Discussions beforehand about expectations or plans is always helpful going into a change of season. Making sure everyone is on the same page allows things to go smoothly. Have conversations about after-school plans, such as homework time, snacks, media time and limits. Who is taking care of lunches? Is there a specific space for homework? What about phones or Chromebook use? These are all items that should be discussed and expectations set and agreed upon, before you are back in the thick of things.
- Update/review all your contact information on PCS ParentsWeb - Be sure to head online and verify, or enter all the pertinent contact info for your family. Phone numbers, addresses, email, emergency contact information, any updated medical information and approved alternate pick-up drivers. All this information is important to making sure we start the year off right and needs to be verified as soon as possible. (See the document from the Friday Facts for instructions)
- Pray for the upcoming year - Lastly, and most importantly, take time as a family to pray for the upcoming school year. Pray for all the planning and goal setting you have put into getting ready. Pray for the teachers, the other students and their families. Pray for the presence of God and His Holy Spirit to fill the hallways of the school. When difficulties or challenges arise through the school year, pray that each student will seek wisdom and confidence through the Word and learn to stand firm on the foundation Christ has provided for us. Pray for protection over the school and that PCS will continue to impact the lives of past, present and future students and their families.
There are probably lots of other great tips you currently do or have heard from others. Feel free to share them here in the comment section, and we will possibly add them to our Facebook page as well for others to consider. We strongly believe that through preparation and organization, we can help our children to have a smooth transition back into the new school year. We also know that some things don’t always go the way we plan, but that is the journey. As staff, we are praying for all of our families as you prepare to come back. We look forward to what God has in store for us all this year.
Here is a quick prayer video for you to consider as we move closer to that first day back.