“If you had an iPhone, we wouldn’t be lost,” said my 12-year-old daughter Annie, shaking her head and refusing to climb another steep hill in San Francisco. I couldn’t abandon her on the sidewalk, but I wasn’t ready to accept that she might have a point.
We love the latest Washington Post piece in their series “On Parenting” by mother and educator Mallory McDuff. She embarked on a road trip with her children, leaving advanced technology behind, relying on maps and in the end, teaching her kids to rely on their own intuition.
“It’s good to get lost so you can get yourself out of the situation,” I told her.
After a week of McDuff using only a flip phone, a paper map and her oldest as a trusty co-pilot, she found the greatest takeaway of the entire trip was her daughter’s ability to “trust her gut”. A valuable skill not only reserved for road trips, but for navigating life.
It is valuable to take a step back as parents and allow our children to learn, grow and make mistakes, even “get lost”, while we are able to mentor and monitor them. Their ability to become responsible adults is dependent on these growing experiences where we can teach them to go from “wish we had our iPhone” to “this looks like the right path” through admitting our own mistakes, leading by example and helping them work through their problems as a partner and mentor.
Read the entire piece here and take a look at some of the latest WebSafety posts where we share ways you can help you and your family make tech-free memories: “A low-tech morning routine” and “The tech-free homework packet”.