Gone are the days where we sit and spend time with our children unaccompanied by technology. When is the last time you went to a playground, a waiting room, a restaurant and actually observed an adult speaking with a child? Too often we see child and (grand)parent immersed in devices. All children want is time. Today children are not getting undivided attention necessary to flourish.
A new hardcover coffee table book, “180 Dates” pushes caregivers, parents and grandparents to be intentional with their relationship with their child. If you deliberately plan a date once a month with each of your children, over the course of 15 years it amounts to 180 dates and that's a 180 degree transformation, for the better. The best part, you can never start too late. You can start the book at age 3 or age 30.
Today children are spending on average 180 to 225 hours a month on technology, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a breakdown of daily screentime use of children between ages 8 and 18 years old. Adults prior to Covid were taking in 330 hours of monthly screentime. After the Covid pandemic hit, that number shot up to 570 hours a month, based off a Neilsen study calculating daily usage.
Certainly, there is a way to carve out an hour or two each month to spend quality time with your loved one and record the discoveries made from that connection. The book is a tool to make documenting your time with your child easier so that he/she can look back and see love, bonding, guidance and wisdom coming from someone who mattered most to them. It’s a beautiful gift for a child to keep close to their heart after their (grand)parent or caregiver is no longer living.
Beyond quality time and less technology, "180 Dates" really enforces intergenerational bonds. Giving older generations the opportunity to leave a legacy is priceless, the dates are prompts for leaving a legacy through storytelling and keeping their history alive. And if you don’t think you are creative enough to come up with an idea for a monthly date? The book has 100 suggestions of dates. There is also ample room for recording the memories and scrapbooking keepsakes like movie stubs, concert tickets or just a quick polaroid. The only requirement is: no cell phones.