Hudson Valley Parent

HVP May 2015

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6 Hudson Valley Parent ■ May 2015 Publisher TERRIE GOLDSTEIN Editor KATY WEBER Executive Assistant to the Publisher BRITTANY L. MORGAN Media Advisors KIMBERLY MAYER MARY ZAK Community Liaison PAMELA PERRY Web Ad Designer LESLIE CORTES Layout & Design ENGLE PRINTING also publishers of MY family MY family baby The HUDSON VALLEY G U I D E Hudson Valley Parent is published monthly by: The Professional Image Marketing & Public Relations Inc. 174 South Street • Newburgh, NY 12550 Phone: 845-562-3606 • Fax: 845-562-3681 This publication is copyrighted by the publisher. Reproduction without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Hudson Valley Parent welcomes submissions, although we cannot accept responsibility for work submitted nor guarantee publication. A MEMBER OF I 've decided to enlist my family in Screen-Free Week this year, and to be perfectly honest, I'm kinda terrifi ed. My kids can easily go a week with- out TV or their iPads, but I'm not sure I can. What terrifi es me most is the responsibility I will have of entertaining my children. I'm not crafty, I don't bake, and I loathe playing the "you be Darth Vader and I'll be General Grievous and we'll fi ght" game ad nauseum. I'll gladly take my kids to the park or the playground or a nice long hike, and I'll gladly read to them at bedtime. But at some point it'll be time for me to actually do some- thing — make dinner, fold laundry, brush my teeth — and that's when my two kids will turn into scream- ing monsters, tearing at each other while I attempt to referee. That's usually when I go into mommy overdrive and set them up with all sorts of things I think will be fun: puzzles, card games, coloring books — anything that will entertain them for a few minutes. The trouble is, they usually don't think this is fun to do without me, so they get bored and I get annoyed and (poof!) the TV goes on — the great anesthetizer of fi ghting children everywhere. Without a screen, what will I do to keep my kids from ripping each other apart? Well, fi rst I'm arming them with a printable list of activities (down- loaded from the offi cial Screen-Free Week website, they can choose on their own to do through- out the week. Activities I know will appeal to my kids: insect hunt, make an outdoor fairy dwelling, build a Lego city. Activities that will surely end in tears: build a couch fort, orga- nize your toys, anything involving paint or glue. Then I'm going to re- mind myself of the advice from educator Acacia Stevens Mauriello in our article about Screen-Free Week ("Switching Off," page 26): "If your kids complain that they are bored, that's actually a good thing," she says. Hmm. I like this concept. It's a leap for me, but I'm willing to give it a try. According to The Anxiety-Free Child Program, boredom "teaches a child that they are able to create their own entertainment, and that they are fully-capable of creating incredibly enjoyable ways in which to stay busy." So, while boredom is uncomfort- able and often begins with whining, the experience propels children to be productive and self-reliant. So, instead of worrying about how I'll manage to entertain and occupy my kids for the week (or how my husband and I will make it through a week without "Veep" or "Game of Thrones"), I've decided to allow my kids to be bored and to encourage them to entertain themselves. I will undoubtedly have to facilitate and referee, but I will not decide their activities for them and will try to participate as little as possible. I'll let you know how it goes next month. Is your family planning to par- ticipate in Screen-Free Week from May 4 to 10? If so, how do you plan to survive the week? Email me your thoughts, your plans (and your re- sults!) at Let boredom be your guide KATY WEBER Editor's Journal

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