Here are your dinner and drive-time tips for this week. We’ve issued a challenge to your youth; ask them about it, and issue the challenge at home, for both your child and yourself!
- Talk to your youth about what your experience or understanding of the connection between balance and Buddhism. For instance talk about the practice of meditation or Buddhist compassion and nonviolence. You do not need to present yourself as an expert. The goal is to model what our youth do when they start each lesson: write their initial understandings on our “Graffiti Board.”
- During our worship this week, we will use The Great Compassion Mantra by a Tibetan nun for our centering meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81HKh4RMlME. We will check in by having youth respond to the questions: “When are you hard on yourself?” or “What are you hard on yourself about?” Invite your youth into a conversation about this, starting it off by the ways in which you also struggle to be gentle and compassionate with yourself.
- As your youth will explain to you, we’ve given them a challenge this week to explore the idea of balancing our “obsessions.” We are calling it the “Detach From Your Cell Phone Challenge.” As you know, cell phones and social media are among today’s greatest obsessions and attachments. To achieve a better balance between these “cravings” and the rest of our lives, we’ve asked the youth to hand you their cell phones for one hour each evening and to use that cell phone-free hour to balance tech time with other time. Your job is to keep track of how well they do. They are allowed to ask you for their cell phone back at any time. At the end of the week, we ask that you send with them a signed note from you telling us how many hours they were successful at the task. Oh, one little thing: we’re also challenging you to do the same. In other words, when they hand you their cell phone, we invite you to hand them yours, with you too thinking about how that detachment frees you up to use your hour to develop better life balance.
Think of ways you can make the “Cell Phone Challenge” as meaningful as possible. Ideally, this will be an opportunity for you to partner with you youth and use the free time to connect more deeply or help each other identify and reclaim other important things that have been abandoned. We’ve invited the youth to use the free time to spend an hour of focused attention on homework, reclaim room for their art or music or make time for family. How might you all think about this and do this together as a family?