Could you go handsfree this Summer?

A couple of weeks ago I found myself unexpectedly locked out of my daughter’s house with my grandson. It was no big deal. We just sat on the couch on the front verandah for an hour while we waited for mum to come back. The best part of the situation was that I did not have my mobile phone with me so the whole time spent with Reuben was ‘hands free’. We just spent the time looking at each other, laughing and having fun.

It reminded me of an article I read not long ago entitled ‘What a “Hands Free” summer looks like’ by Rachel Macy Stafford. The article is from a few years ago and was written from a northern hemisphere perspective, but it is very relevant as we head into our own summer and holiday period.

The gist of Rachel’s article, and in fact of her whole website, is encouragement to parents to lighten up a bit and be more present with their children. In particular, with the holidays in mind, she challenges parents to put away their mobile phones and other devices of distraction and spend time with the kids doing the simple things together.

Rachel refers to another article, by a teacher who over the years asked her students around Mother’s Day what they remembered and loved most about their mothers. Over time she noticed similar responses being repeated and she compiled a ‘top 10’ list. I won’t repeat the list here but if you read it you will be struck by its simplicity. There is nothing from these kids about buying gifts or taking them to lots of different activities. Rather, what kids really value is one-on-one time, basic togetherness and being ‘in the moment’ with their parents.

The overall message here is something I think is well worth considering as we hopefully get a chance to slow down a little in the coming weeks. Given the chance to put your phone down for a while, will you do so? How can you make this summer one that really stands out for your children, that they will remember for years to come?

If you want more ideas, you might also visit a blog post entitled ‘Be here, be now, be mindful’ that was written by our Recruitment Team a couple of months ago. You can read it here.

As you think about all that, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our newsletter readers – our valuable clients, our wonderful nannies and staff and all our other friends – a wonderful Christmas and New Year.


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